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    Celebrating with friends on a feast day

    Day 17

    Getting Festive

    When we realized the feast day of the Virgin de Guadalupe was fast approaching, we wondered if folks at the shelter had plans to celebrate. The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is a major holiday in Mexico, and many people at the shelter would ordinarily be taking the day off to spend time with their families.

    In the face of so much transition and uncertainty, we wanted to add something familiar and fun to this special day. Even in difficult circumstances, there are still reasons to celebrate and moments to find joy.

    To spark some of this joy, we decorated the dining area — an otherwise bare room — with festive décor and bought sweets to be served with dinner!

    We used tinsel, strings of lights, and some ornaments to make everything feel more festive. When people saw the decorations, they lit up. Little kids were delicately touching the bulbs and tinsel with wonder. The decorations even inspired some to feel more festive and giving. Filipe, the custodian, saw what we were doing and brought in his very own ornaments for us to use. It was such a sweet and generous offer – it was clear he believed in making the day full of joy and celebration, too.

    Yolanda, the lead cook for lunch and dinners at the shelter, said “Thank you so much for turning the room into a festive place. The room was so grim before. We could tell it made a huge difference for the guests. We will keep up the decorations at least through Christmas.”

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