By AZI Staff Writer
The What If Christmas Forgot About You, is an event dedicated to foster care kids in the Valley. This year was the fourth annual party and it was a huge success. The event was co-sponsored by Angels Go To Work and Real Talk Louanna. There were girls and boys from seven different homes participating in a day full of events. As the children entered Co-Hoots in Phoenix where the event took place, there was sense of unbelief with all the gifts and activities.
“What If Christmas Forgot You was the most moving and impactful event I had the pleasure of attending this year. Louanna Faine (the event’s creator) is truly dedicated to the betterment of our community. She uses her platform to spread awareness and joy,” Sylvie Martin, a student associated with Real Talk Enterprise.
There were five stations: a hygiene table sponsored by Richard Burrell, free haircuts sponsored by CRE818, Create an Ornament and Gift of Giving, both sponsored by CeCe Peniston, and a cookie station sponsored by The Sweet Tooth Fairy.
“Out of all the tables, the children where most excited that they could get free toothpaste, body wash and tooth brushes. It broke my heart when one child asked if they could have another soap,” Faine.
“This event was absolutely the most meaningful way to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas. Louanna (Faine) and the entire team at Angels Go To Work, brought the magic of love to the room, and seeded hope and encouragement in so many hearts. I have new heroes in my life,” and Maria Luna CEO of Bravo Tip or Pay, a sponsor of the event.
Faine and Shanna Parker, founder of Angels Go To Work, opened the program with sharing their stories of triumphing over sex trafficking, sexual trauma and abuse they experienced in the foster care system. The children resonated with the testimonies of Faine and Parker, giving them hope that they too will survive.
“What if Christmas Forgot You? was an amazing day for the youth we serve in the community. The smiles on their faces and the memories made will last a lifetime. The team that came together to make this happen were all amazing and I’m grateful for each of them and I can’t wait to see what youth we can serve next year,” said Parker.
“This was a well needed event, the kids were uplifted and inspired. It was just phenomenal keep up the good work can’t wait until next year,” Pastor Anita Bullock, Faine’s adopted mother.
At the end of the program, all the children came up and said what they like about the program. Many were crying because they never felt so much love in one room. Each was presented with five gifts each, along with 20 of the children getting Krankz audio Bluetooth headphones which were donated by Jeff the CEO of Krankz Audio. Krankz traveled to the event from Las Vegas with gifts in hand to bring joy to the kids.
Among the speakers and participating sponsors were Cloves Campbell from the Arizona Informant, Anita Bullock Pastor of Brighter Day World Wide Deliverance Ministries, local hip hop artist Ali Tomniki, Tempe police officer Tash Hampton, and Jamar Younger a journalist from Tucson.
There are still additional toy drives happening around the Valley. Faine and Parker will be presenting gifts of Christmas week to children who were unable to participate.