9th Day of Giving: Capitol Hill Holiday Party

The traditional definition of “giving” is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return. For those who actually perform this act, the word means considerably more than a simple twelve word description. I am only seven months green to the District of Columbia and these streets are far too unfamiliar to call home, but, volunteering to help those in need is something that will always make me feel more connected to my community.

As 250 children from local D.C. schools quietly entered the Caucus room in the Cannon Building of the US Capitol, their faces became so animated and eyes so wide, I couldn't stop my heart from melting. The walls were lined with Christmas decor, the tables were draped with snowflakes and Santa's helpers were stationed at every turn with a smile. The historical landmark was truly transformed into a magical wonderland far different from its everyday landscape.

The three hours were jam packed with different activities to keep every age group entertained. My co-workers and I danced the wobble, passed out food and helped assemble presents for Santa and Mrs. Clause to deliver to everyone in attendance. A puppeteer and clown were also on hand for extra charm.

Tuesday was about the 250 children in that room. The 250 children that might have taken home their only Christmas presents yesterday. The 250 children that arrived without warm winter coats. The 250 children that most of all, needed a little extra love and hope. It was their day and if I helped make it, I guess I am a little closer to home than I thought.