Each year, Danya takes time during the holidays to give back to our community. As we enjoy this festive season, we realize how privileged we are—as individuals and as an organization—and our hearts go out to those whose situations may make it difficult to enjoy this joyful time of year.
On December 15, the staff at Danya’s Atlanta office had the privilege of giving back to children and families in our own backyard at the Greater Vine City Opportunities Program’s (GVCOP) 18th Annual Christmas Party, an afternoon filled with food, fun, and holiday spirit! Danya staff helped ensure that more than 100 kids from the Vine City neighborhood, located in west Atlanta, had a special and memorable holiday season by donating gifts to kids and teens from the area who may normally have to go without this time of year.
The Christmas Party featured local musicians, games for the children, lunch sponsored by Chick-fil-A, a visit by Santa Claus, and gifts for all kids up to age 14. In addition to the holiday festivities, the Atlanta Fire Department was offering health screenings to monitor cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels for the adults in attendance. Several Danya staff also attended the event as volunteers and were happily put to work sorting gifts, decorating the tree, welcoming kids and their families, and serving food.
The Annual Christmas Party is just one of many GVCOP events that bring neighborhood residents together to build community and mobilize resources as part of a journey to rebuild and revitalize the Greater Vine City neighborhood. The mission of GVCOP is to plan and execute programs in Greater Vine City to improve the lives of residents. Their hands-on approach to problem solving, channeling resources, and building strategic partnerships fosters social, technological, educational, economic, and youth development. In addition to the neighborhood events, GVCOP has recently purchased the historic English Avenue Elementary School, a 50,000-square-foot building, to convert into a state-of-the-art, green technology Global Community Center. The Center will provide space and opportunities for small business development, performing arts, education, counseling, health services, literacy, social events, and much more. The founder and director is “Able” Mable Thomas, a lifelong public servant and civil rights activist, who was re-elected this year to the State House of Representatives.
Danya team members were thrilled to be part of this opportunity to give back and put a smile on a child’s face, but—as “Able” Mable reminded us—we are actually now a part of the greater continued “movement” to revitalize and improve Greater Vine City for the wonderful families at the party and the rest of their community.
To learn more about the Greater Vine City Opportunities Program, visit their website at http://englishavenuecampus.net/.
By Katie Mooney