Christmas In Spring at MEND!
This past weekend Gabe and I had the pleasure of attending the 27th annual Christmas in Spring event! This is a Philanthropic event that is put on by Universal Studios Hollywood and M.E.N.D. (Meet Each Need With Dignity)
This Christmas in spring event is held annually, and brings much needed cheer and good will to hundreds of low income families living in the San Fernando Valley. As soon as we entered we were immediately surrounded by dozens of smiling faces, children and adults alike, playing carnival games and winning prizes. Just past the carnival games, there was an entire book tent! Each child had the opportunity to go and choose a book to take home, and were more than happy to do so! By the time Gabe and I went over to check it out, most of the books were gone!
There was also a huge arts and crafts tent for children to create their own paper dolls, and boy did they sure get creative with their designs! And it was clear to be seen on the faces of everyone around us, that the face painting tent was also a major hit of the day.
The focal point of the event would have to be the main stage and DJ setup. This is where all the excitement happened! There was a constant itinerary of events! From games and activities, to dance parties with some of your favorite Universal characters! The fun was never ending. Sponge Bob, The Minions, Scooby Doo and Shaggy, Puss N’ Boots and King Julian were all there to get in on the fun and meet the families! We were able to catch a hula hoop contest as well as a mummy wrapping contest!
Just past the DJ booth was the lunch area, where Universal put on a seriously great lunch spread. There was chicken and veggies and potatoes, and more desserts that I could count!
After getting a good look at all the festivities outside, we ventured inside to the main attraction: Santa!!!
We walk in to find Santa Claus himself seated in his big red chair with a big line of families waiting to get their picture taken. There were even fun hats and props for everyone to use. And of course, no child can visit Santa without getting a present! Every child left with a minion stuffed animal, either cave man or regular.
Overall, our impression of the event was overwhelmingly positive. The amount of joy and smiling faces that we saw was infectious. Universal Studios Hollywood and M.E.N.D. went above and beyond to bring cheer and joy to families in need, during a time of year when they may need it the most. After talking to a few people, we truly know that places like M.E.N.D. help more than any of us can truly understand. To know that so many families are in good hands and get to forget about life for a moment is phenomenal. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much a helping hand can be, events like this are what make us remember. It was truly heartwarming and inspirational to witness.
And one last big shoutout to all of the amazing Universal Volunteers for taking time out of their own lives to bring joy and cheer to others. Every volunteer we saw was happy and courteous and truly embodied the Christmas spirit, even in spring.