Santa in his sleigh posing with helpers. (Contributed)
On the evening of Dec. 21, Santa arrived on a modified sleigh pushed by an elf, to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, in the guise of his helper former Sheriff Tom Allman. As a result of donations from the Ukiah community, Santa was able to present Christmas gifts to children of MCAVHN Care and Prevention Network clients and employees as well as other friends of MCAVHN. Approximately 74 children received gifts from Santa while others had gifts delivered.
Prior to Santa’s arrival, lasagna, garlic bread, and a green salad, prepared by staff members the evening before, was served by Gabe Schoonmaker, Mike Mendez and Joanna Olson. Christmas cookies for dessert finished the meal for all attendees.
The following day, the remaining food was delivered to:
- OAK House: Housing for Behavioral Health clients
- Mayacama Industries: Ukiah Valley Association for Habilitation
- Homeless Shelter at 1045 S. State St., Ukiah
- Homeless encampments
- Homeless and street people when found.
Drop-ins at 148 Clara
In spite of COVID recurrences, MCAVHN continues to provide services to the community in care management, medically assisted treatment for drug addiction, connecting the homeless with housing, treatment for Hepatitis C, and harm reduction supplies through the syringe exchange.
We thank Santa for making a special appearance, Costco, Safeway, Days Inn, the Royal, Mendocino Transmission, and Don and Judy Popowski for financial support and wish the community a Happy Holiday Season.
“Throughout our community to the individuals we serve and those that don’t know someone cares about them. A little caring goes a long way to destigmatize those less fortunate. It’s a part of MCAVHN that we hold dear in our hearts and love to do.” – Joe Ditto, MCAVHN staff member
“MCAVHN Care and Prevention Network is much more than a syringe exchange.” Mike Mendez – MCAVHN staff member
Perhaps Tiny Tim said it best: “God Bless Us Every One.”