Twenty area churches participated this year in the 48th annual Blanco Christmas Party by sponsoring one or more children from the home. Members from all of the sponsoring churches arrived at the party bearing gifts, food and Christmas goodies for the 225 who attended.
Jimmy Hudson of Skidmore, current Blanco Baptist Men director, attended his first STCHM Christmas party in 1981 and he hasn’t missed one since. He and his wife, Lori, love being involved.
“My wife and I have always loved kids, whether our own, our foster children, or working with children through Sunday school classes, youth groups, or other programs. To see the smiles on their faces and to gain a friendship with these young people is awesome!” Hudson said. “People from communities surrounding the STCHM campuses look forward to being a part of the STCHM Christmas party every year.”
STCHM children were seated at the party next to people from the church that sponsored them. The party was held at First Baptist Church-Beeville this year since STCHM’s gym is currently being renovated. A lively word game kicked off the evening’s activities and helped everyone get acquainted. Ten-year-old Orlando thought the game and the party were “pretty cool.”
“One of the questions in the game was ‘What do you call a hippo at the North Pole?’ and one lady guessed Hippo-snowman! But the answer was ‘lost’!” Orlando said. “It was pretty funny.”
After singing a few Christmas carols together, the guests were treated to a performance by the Jeff Brewer Family. The Brewers got the crowd smiling with a pantomime of Alvin and the Chipmunks’ “Christmas Song.” The audience then sat spellbound as they listened to the “Wassail Song”, a solo by 11-year-old Leah Brewer called “Who Would Imagine a King?” and the beautiful, crystal clear finale of “Carol of the Bells.”
“This was the first time I ever saw the Brewer Family,” said Paige, a 16-year-old STCHM student. “They were awesome!”
After the concert, the kids tore into the gifts from their sponsors. It was hard to tell whether the children or the sponsors were having the most fun!
Nikki, an 18-year-old STCHM senior, was a bit nostalgic this year since it was her fifth and last time to attend the Christmas party.
“My sponsor this year was Mr. Frisbee from my church in Goliad. I had worked in the nursery at church with his wife but she passed away earlier this year,” Nikki said. “Mr. Frisbee told me that night that his wife had always appreciated me going in every Sunday to help in the nursery. We both missed having her at the party and at the end, we both cried.”
Like Nikki, many STCHM children have grown accustomed to the love and generosity shown to them at Christmas by the people of the Blanco Baptist Association and others who find such joy in reaching out to them. The grand party is quite a new experience, though, for those students like 17-year-old Carissa who have only been at STCHM for a short time.
“The room was filled with love, caring and thoughtfulness that night,” Carissa said. “It was really a touching experience, something you will never forget.”
The Blanco Baptist Association is made up of churches in six counties: Aransas, Bee, Goliad, Live Oak, Refugio and San Patricio. South Texas Children’s Home Ministries receives both state and privately placed children at their residential childcare campuses in Beeville and Goliad. The home relies solely on the generosity of individuals, churches, businesses, foundations and other organizations for funding.