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Trinity Williams, 18, had her sights set on a walker for her eight-month old son, Anthony. When she arrived at the Hope House Colorado Santa Shop Dec. 9, the walkers were the first thing she went for.
“I had to make sure I got that before anyone else,” Williams said with a big smile on her face.
Williams is one of 87 teen moms in the Denver Metro area that chose gifts for their children at the Santa Shop.
“I kind of want to cry,” Williams said after shopping with the 400 points she earned throughout the year by attending classes through Hope House. “I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to give Anthony a Christmas. I don’t have a job. I’m going to school full time. But in the end, God made a way and God gave me Hope House.”
Hope House of Colorado is a nonprofit based in Arvada that empowers parenting teenage moms throughout the Denver Metro area to strive for personal and economic self-sufficiency and to understand their significance in God’s sight, resulting in a healthy future for them, and for their children.
This is the first year for the Santa Shop model where moms can earn points and shop for their children. In years past, it was an adoption-style program.
“Oh my gosh, this has been such an awesome event,” said Jenny Macis, program director at Hope House. “Our girls are excited and saying that this is taking a lot of stress off the season because they don’t have a lot of money.”
All the teen moms Hope House services live below the poverty level, many coming from generational poverty situations.
“They’re loving the store because they get to choose what they’re getting,” Macis said.” The girls are pumped.”
Rosa Stevenson, 21, has never been able to provide Christmas gifts for her six-year-old daughter, Mary Jane. But with the 245 points she earned at Hope House this year, Stevenson was able to get M.J. and one-year-old Jeremiah what they wanted.
“M.J. wrote Santa a letter and asked for a Baby Alive doll, so that was the first thing I got her,” Stevenson said. “I’m so happy.”
Overwhelming happiness was a common feeling between the teen moms.
“This was more than I was expecting,” Williams said. “It’s sort of overwhelming to see how much people care and are willing to help us moms in need.”
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