THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICPATED IN OUR ECKERD'S CHRISTMAS PROJECT FOR THE BOYS AT ECKERD'S YOUTH ACADEMY!
Thanks to donations from White House Boys (including a donation from funds collected at the reunion) and from Friends of the White House Boys, we were able to provide Christmas Gifts and a meal to SIXTY boys at Eckerds Youth Academy this year. We were able to give each boy a stocking filled with a nice new watch, a hacky-sack ball, glow in the dark novelties, lots of candy (including candy bars and a candy cane), pens, pencils, a pre-stamped Christmas card to mail home, deodorent, and more. They also each received an Artist's Sketch Pad with Charcoal Pencils, and a new Pillow and Pillowcase (the boys #1 request on more than half the boys'wish lists was a pillow). In addition, we bought Soccer Balls, Volley Balls, Playground Balls, and Basketballs for them. The boys are divided into 6 groups at Eckerds, so. each group also received a stack of board games. We served them a Taco Buffet and Christmas Cookies for dessert, and the meal was also well received and appreciated by all the boys. The boys were respectful, polite, and extrememly greatful for all we did for them in the name of the "White House Boys". They also listened intently and raised hands to ask questions when Jerry Cooper, Jim DeNyke, and Charlie Fudge spoke to them about ways they can turn their life around, and become productive citizens. The boys seemed very encouraged by the testimonies of the White House men. The day was as enjoyable and special for us, as it was for the boys.
We'd like to say a special thank you to Jim DeNyke and Betty for coming to Eckerd's with us, and helping make the event a success. Thank you to Jim for sharing his testimony with the boys, and even counseling with some of the boys one-on-one. Thank you also to the Babbs and Jerry Cooper who helped with shopping, helped at the event, served food, and for Jerry sharing his story with the boys and answering individual questions from the boys. Jerry also collected about $1000 on his own from friends, and without this money, we would NOT have been able to bring such a Merry Christmas to the boys. Thank you to Babbs for making phone calls to remind the WHBz of the Christmas Project. Thank you again to the White House Boys who donated. If you didn't get a chance to participate this year, and would like to help next year, its never too early to sign up to volunteer. They say, "It is better to give, than to receive" and that statement was definitely true with this project. What a joy it was to visit the boys, and see them so receptive to us, and watch them thoroughly enjoy their meal and gifts. To view all the photos from this important day, CLICK HERE FOR THE PHOTO GALLERY.
HERE IS THE THANK YOU WE RECEIVED FOR OUR DONATIONS TO ECKERDS YOUTH ACADEMY: I just wanted to let you all know how excellent this past Friday was. The boys were overwhelmed with the caring shown them. Many of our boys, despite being 13-18 years of age, have never experienced a Christmas before. They have been walking on air ever since. I cannot appreciate it enough. You’ve given them a true Christmas gift, the gift of the Christmas spirit. Thanks so much for all you do!
J. Patrick Girdner
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