The crisp autumn weather settled just in time for the many YWCA seasonal festivities. Last week, kids and adults alike were at our YWoodlawn location putting on their costumes, painting their faces and stocking up on candy for the annual YWoodlawn Fall Festival. The sun was setting just in time to kickoff the event. Children from both the YWoodlawn and downtown locations were dressed in full princess, superhero and even zombie attire. There was barbeque, hotdogs, candy, cupcakes and all the dressings for the fun, well spirited festival. Dozens of volunteers came to paint faces, lead games, dress cookies and serve food. Among them were members from the YWCA’s AmeriCorps, Redstone Church and three firemen and a fire truck from Woodlawn Fire Department.
YWCA Chief Housing Officer, Jennifer Clarke, said, “We are thrilled to be able to offer great annual events like the YWoodlawn Fall Festival for our YWCA residents. Over 100 YWoodlawn adults and children dressed up for Halloween fun and enjoyed a homemade dinner, moon bounce fun and ‘trunk or treating.’ It was safe, delicious, fall fun for everyone!”
Along with our YWoodlawn’s Fall Festival, our downtown location is also host to its own day of great fall fun. The annual Fall Festival downtown, hosted by the YWCA Junior Board of Directors, takes place on Halloween and has exponentially grown each consecutive year. The gymnasium is lined with games, decorations, music, candy and costumes. The downtown Fall Festival is put on to offer a local, safe and family-friendly way to celebrate the season and Halloween for the children in our KIDS Korner, Calico Corner and After-School Enrichment Programs. Dozens of volunteers participated in the festival, including members from the Rotaract Club, the Samford University Chi Omegas and of course lots of AmeriCorps members and YWCA staff.
“Holiday traditions are part of what shape a childhood,” President of the YWCA Junior Board, Kitty Brown said. “Many of us enjoy warm memories of trick or treating in our neighborhoods or going to fall festivals at schools or churches. Through the YWCA Fall Festival, our Junior Board and other community volunteers join together to create a safe, happy and fun environment for our YW children to make those same warm memories of their own. Having the Fall Festival on an annual basis helps create consistent and stable traditions during what may be a difficult and transitional time in these children’s lives, and gives them a safe and creative space to enjoy being a kid!”
“These events are rooted in the YWCA’s own tradition of serving those in greatest need.” Clarke mentions, “In so doing we had the privilege of sharing a great time with our residents in a socially-fun and safe atmosphere.”
We may not always know how far our efforts reach, how much a seemingly small action can have an impact that lasts forever. There are some at such festivals, staff and residents alike, who will remember these times for the rest of their lives. It’s important to remember that events like this, though they’re all about fun and games, are meaningful to the well being of those in need.
A big YW thank you goes out to those volunteers who contributed their time and energy to making these events memorable for those we serve.
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