While the Christmas season is an especially busy time for old St. Nick, the big man in red made a special appearance at Regina's Place for its annual Breakfast with Santa (and Mrs. Claus, of course).
Under the St. Charles' umbrella, Regina's Place (formally Angela's Place), is a home for young mothers and their children. Connected with the Jeanne Scott Parent and Child Resource Centre next door, the facilities help women obtain a high school diploma while providing them with parenting and life skills to help break the cycle of poverty and ensure a positive future. While the mothers work on their education, the babies are cared for by Early Childcare Educators.
Currently, 25 mothers are enrolled in the program.
"Our mantra is to empower women to get educated, because education is power," said Director of Youth Services Loretta Hill-Finamore.
On December 21, families were treated to a number of festive activities, including cookie decorating, crafts, brunch, and a meet with Mr. And Mrs. Claus.
"Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many of our youth, emotionally and financially," said Teacher Kara Savas.
"With the help of our community partners, we have a chance to help our young mothers create new Christmas memories for their children and themselves. It also gives us the opportunity to teach students about the true meaning of Christmas."
Getting a head-start on Christmas morning, each mother and child were given a special present from the North Pole.
"We recognize that the mothers are still young people with massive responsibility," said Hill-Finamore.
"Opportunities like this allow them to come together, have fun and be young, while still providing a great Christmas for their children."
And with cheerful smiles all around, a great Christmas celebration it was.