Author: Helena Feng
It’s four days until Christmas, and the people here have no qualms about celebrating early. Fairy lights adorn every storefront, and even roadside trees flaunt scintillating outfits. Holiday tunes play from passing cars. A large, red snowflake hangs under a streetlamp, glittering vermillion in the soft yellow light. Its light illuminates part of a concrete building. The structure doesn’t look like much from the outside, especially from the back – bleak and featureless, one might suppose it was as dull inside as out. But that would be the opposite of the truth.
According to the lettering on its glass doors, this is one of the many buildings belonging to Mary’s Place, an organization dedicated toward aiding women, children, and families experiencing homelessness. Inside, a young boy and his sister play with their dad near the back entrance. Donated Christmas trees spruce up the lobby, which is full of bins containing common household items – blankets, razors, diapers. On the second floor, several families enjoy a dinner of rice and chicken. Thick blue curtains provide privacy for people sleeping nearby.
Elspeth Rensema, head of Mary’s Place, hosted some young volunteers from the Pacific Artists Alliance (PAA). The PAA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using art to help children in need. It was founded in 2015 by Delora Li and Kelsey Chen. Tonight, they’re leading a workshop for children staying at Mary’s Place. The PAA have decided to make snow globes of a sort – Mason jars decorated with tiny trees, snowflakes, and ribbons. The children love it.
“You make it, you keep it!” a young boy sings happily to his friends, waving his own jar proudly. Some of the younger kids draw on a nearby table instead, doodling little reindeer or cutting paper snowflakes. Several of the children head off to their own rooms, or to the dining hall, with their own decorative jars. But it’s not just the children staying at Mary’s Place that come away with something.
“Participating in this event has really opened my eyes to how art can change the world – and especially, the impact I can make,” says a volunteer Emily from Pacific Artists’ Alliance. “High schoolers like me don’t always realize what we can do to help those less fortunate than us. But you’re never too young to make a difference.”
It’s a fitting sentiment for the holidays – a reminder of the power each of us have to make the world a little brighter, whether it’s by supporting PAA, Mary’s Place, or any other cause you believe in. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Here’s to giving back.
根据贴在玻璃门上的介绍，这是Mary’s Place的众多建筑之一，该组织致力于帮助接受无家可归的妇女，儿童和家庭。在里面，一个小男孩和他的妹妹在后门附近与他们的父亲一起玩耍。大厅里装饰着圣诞树，里面装满了普通家居用品的箱子 – 毯子，剃须刀，尿布。在二楼，几个家庭享用米饭和鸡肉晚餐。厚厚的蓝色窗帘为附近睡觉的人提供隐私。
Mary’s Place的负责人Elspeth Rensema接待了来自太平洋艺术家联盟（PAA）的一些年轻志愿者 。PAA是一个致力于利用艺术来帮助有需要的儿童的非营利组织。它由Delora Li和Kelsey Chen于2015年创立。今晚，他们正在为住在Mary’s Place的孩子们举办圣诞节 礼品手工制作。 PAA决定制作一种雪球 – 玻璃罐装饰着小树，雪花和用缎带装饰。孩子们非常喜欢它。
太平洋艺术家联盟（PAA）的志愿者Emily说：“参加这次活动真让我看到了艺术如何改变世界 – 尤其是我能够产生的影响。” “像我这样的高中生并不总是意识到我们可以做些什么来帮助那些不如我们幸运的人。但你永远不会太年轻，无法发挥作用。“
对于假期来说这是很应景的- 提醒我们每个人都必须让世界变得更加美好，无论是支持PAA，Mary’s Place还是其它任何你信仰的机构。祝大家圣诞快乐，节日快乐。这是一种回馈社会的方式。