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:: Holidays & Special Events ::
Holidays are especially tough for poor and homeless families and single adults who live on America's streets. Memories of better times come flooding back. Dreams of what might have been haunt the soul. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or Mother’s Day – the pain is still there.
Parents without jobs can’t afford to buy gifts – or oftentimes even food – for their children. Homeless street people huddle in their makeshift shelters, alone with their memories and broken dreams.
However, the Fred Jordan Mission’s Holiday and Special Events are legendary, bringing an air of celebration to homeless, destitute families and children on the dark, dangerous streets of Skid Row.
Back-to-School Day provides thousands of needy children with new outfits, new shoes and sox, back packs and school supplies, and good food, all donated by generous companies and individuals.
Thanksgiving Day on Skid Row bears no resemblance to the holidays most Americans experience. Instead of a dining room table piled high with turkey and dressing and all the trimmings, most inner city families will have no food at all. In fact, without caring friends like you, Thanksgiving Day for most people on Skid Row would be just one more cold, lonely day. However, the Mission’s Street Banquet shares America’s bounty with poor, homeless families by serving a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings to thousands of hungry Americans.
The Harley Toy Run brings thousands of riders to Skid Row, their bikes loaded with new toys and gifts for needy children. Santa rides a Harley to kick off a month of Christmas celebrations at the Mission.
Christmas Celebration on Skid Row draws upwards of 12,000 needy children and their mothers, declaring “Joy to the World, the Lord is come.” Christmas truly comes to the dangerous streets as families and children join in singing familiar carols that echo throughout the inner city. Food, toy and blanket drives conducted by churches, synagogues, corporations and other groups help bring Christmas joy to thousands of needy families. A bag of toys from the Mission may be the first new toys a poor child has ever received. The Christmas dinner food bags can feed an entire family for several days.
Easter Week brings the Good News of Christ's Resurrection all week long at the Mission, concluding with special services on Good Friday. We share that Christ offers new beginnings to those who have given up on life, new courage to those who are paralyzed by fear, and new life to those who live at death's door on the streets.
Mother’s Make-Overs changes the outward appearance of hundreds of impoverished women. The make-overs also transform hardened hearts and renew crushed spirits. Professional hair stylists, manicurists, and facialists donate their services to bring to poor women a sense of dignity and self-respect. Generous companies donate personal care items for the mothers to take with them.
Mother’s Day is the biggest restaurant day of the year, when children take their moms to dinner. Children in the inner city bring their moms to the Mission’s Mother’s Day Street Banquet and enjoy a delicious hot meal. Tables and chairs are set up in the street for a giant banquet to honor the valiant mothers of the inner city who struggle daily to provide food and shelter for their families. Each mother receives a fresh flower, and a gift bag of shampoos, lotions and personal care items.