Two groups aim to make Christmas more cheerful for everyone
PLYMOUTH, Ind. - A Marshall County group makes Christmas a little bit brighter for folks without a place to celebrate the holiday and a decades long tradition doubles as a fundraiser in Mishawaka.
Families had their last chance to check out some spectacular light displays in one Mishawaka neighborhood. As Christmas winds down the Winding Brook community is wrapping up an annual event dedicated to giving back to those in need.
This special celebration has served as a holiday staple for many Michiana families for more than 50-years. The event raises money for a different charity each night, for two weeks.
One of the organizations receiving a chunk of the proceeds is Hannah's house which provides shelter, care and support for women and children.
The director there says the daily cost to fund the program is $100 per resident. Donations brought in from events like this one help Hannah's house continue its mission.
Each year it normally receives anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 dollars from the Winding Brook Christmas light tradition.
This season's two-week run officially comes to a close tonight.
While this is happening, another organization, this time in Plymouth, is spreading some serious holiday cheer to those looking for a place to spend Christmas and form new friendships.
“I don’t feel down anymore because i know I got family,” Nichole Cleber, who attended the event, said.
The Caring Coalition of Marshall County opening up a space for anyone to come celebrate Christmas, no questions asked.
“To get everybody making new friends and enjoying those who don’t have a family to go home to,” she said.
Attendees like Nichole Cleber, coming to meet new people, make friends and enjoy food, games and other goodies.
“I got hand sanitizer, lotion, powder,” she said. “Got cookies, got a sandwich and got hot chocolate and a diet pop.”
Right in downtown Plymouth is a place, you probably won’t see if you’re driving around but they’re using the downstairs of a Martial Arts Studio to open up their doors for people who need.
The Caring Coalition first formed a few months ago with a mission of helping people struggling with mental health year round.
“A group of us got together, we wanted a place for people to go if they had any problems and needed to talk to somebody,” Chip Dean, a member of the Coalition said.
The main goal of Wednesday's event is to ensure no one had to spend Christmas alone.
“To be able to have a place for people to go that didn’t have a place to have Christmas or no one to be spending Christmas with,” Dean said. “If we can’t reach out to our community and our neighbors then we’re doing something wrong.”
A tradition the coalition hopes to continue for holiday seasons to come.