Director of Education & Career Development]
More than 100 people gathered in New Orleans for a special celebration on December 15th when BeREAL held its annual Christmas party. Ten different organizations provided gifts for close to 100 children and youth. The grateful recipients were either part of the Greater New Orleans Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (GNOFPA)or BeREAL*.
GNOFPA brought lots of food (and it was delicious): chicken, shrimp fried rice, chips, and fruit boxes. The BeREAL “family” provided music, sandwiches, drinks, and desserts. Then it was time for games, and GNOFPA led everyone in a Christmas quiz and musical chairs. Why is it that musical chairs always seems to be even more fun for the adults than the kids? Next, a very jolly Santa stole the show when he gave out the presents. Kevin Kieschnick from LINCNewOrleansserved as MC of the event, and commented that the BeREAL Christmas party just gets better and better every year!
Five-year-old Morris (not his real name) attended his 2nd BeREAL Christmas party and certainly had a much better time this year. Last year he was so scared of Santa he was in tears – this year not only did he sit on Santa’s lap with a huge smile on his face, but he wouldn’t leave Santa’s side!!
BeREAL wishes everyone a very, very happy 2012!
* BeREAL (Ready, Educated, Accomplished Leaders), a project of Lutheran Social Services in collaboration with the Louisiana Dept. of Children & Family Services, provides transition services for youth ages 13-25 aging out of Louisiana’s foster care system, through training, support, and mentoring programs.