Fun-filled weekend at the Coalition!

This past weekend was a very eventful one here at Coalition for the Homeless. With the holidays right around the corner, there was something exciting for all of our residents to do.

In the scramble of preparing and celebrating, we sometimes forget that the holidays are, most importantly, a time for family and friends. Families at both the Coalition’s Women’s Residential and Counseling Center and Center for Women and Families were able to capture a day of family fun on film, however, thanks to Help-Portrait Central Florida.

Help-Portrait, a movement of photographers using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate, gives professional quality portrait photographs to people who could otherwise not afford them. Between looking for a job or going to school and trying to save money for the future, homeless individuals often don’t have the time or opportunity to slow down and smile for a camera. But alongside Paul Mitchell The School make-up artists and hairstylists, image editors, and videographers, the Help-Portrait photographers were able to give the men, women and children who call the Coalition “home” a truly special gift – a professional quality portrait. Thanks Help-Portrait!

Also last weekend, Hands On Orlando hosted the beloved monthly children’s birthday party. The homeless children with December birthdays were given a bona fide birthday party including gifts, party favors, cake, drinks and decorations. Of course, all of the other children were also invited to attend the party to help celebrate. Hands On Orlando has hosted children’s birthday parties at the Coalition every month since 2002 to ensure that every child has a happy birthday!

In addition to the Help-Portrait’s photo shoot and children’s birthday party, a group of Coalition kids took a field trip to the Orlando Repertory Theatre to see “A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas.” The musical comedy, which puts a fun twist on the traditional Nutcracker tale, is Orlando Rep’s holiday production. Combined with the trees, lights and tinsel decorating the Coalition, the viewing of this musical certainly helped put our homeless families with children at the Coalition in the holiday spirit.

The weekend did not end there, however. For the kids with an interest in sports, Mark Cavalleri and friends provided a great time playing flag-football on Saturday afternoon. In fact, Coach Mark plays flag-football with the kids every Saturday!

Thanks so much to all of our wonderful volunteers for giving us such a great weekend! Our clients’ spirits are up and the halls are buzzing as we prepare for the upcoming holidays.