Enjoy this wonderful expression of love by Redeemer Lutheran Church to Wooten Elementary School as told by Amber Schraeder, Academy 4 Site Coordinator and Redeemer Lutheran Church Early Childhood Director.
Redeemer Austin and Wooten Elementary began a partnership 4 years ago as the Academy 4 program began. Since that time, Leaders 5 has been added as well as other avenues for support and relationship including an annual school supply drive and grade level activities between both schools. A true sense of family has developed between Redeemer and Wooten.
This year as Redeemer planned the Christmas season the question was raised about how we would take the love and joy of Christmas outside the walls of Redeemer. Our first thoughts went to our extended family at Wooten, and from there the concept of Night if Hope Austin began to take shape.
Every family at Wooten was invited to participate. Wooten parents could register every child, 18 and under, in their household to be shopped for by our team of elves. A total of 516 children from 196 Wooten families registered and gifts were individually and uniquely purchased for each child.
In the two short months of planning and preparation, 200+ volunteers assisted Redeemer staff to shop for gifts, prep materials, build and assemble items, and raise funds in excess of $160,000.
On Tuesday night, December 11, an army of 300+ volunteers assembled in Wooten Park and Redeemer parking lot to provide a Trail of Lights caliber Christmas Party like none other for the registered Wooten families. The volunteer army was comprised of Redeemer members and school families, Wooten staff, Academy 4 mentors and staff, local businesses, and Wooten neighborhood residents. It was truly a spirit of community at its finest! Volunteers ages 17 months to 85, worked side-by-side to provide a Christmas never to be forgotten!
Each family received the following at the Night of Hope event:
At the event, families enjoyed the following activities
The Night of Hope was truly a transformational event for both the Wooten families and volunteers alike. Everyone involved was reminded of the hope that came to this world that first Christmas.