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Volunteers Bring Holiday Spirit to Women in Recovery

The holiday season has traditionally been a time of joy at the POWER House. Despite missing their children and other loved ones, former clients fondly remember coming into the Great Hall on Christmas morning to see piles of gifts left by members of their community. “It felt so good to know people cared, to know I wasn’t forgotten,” explained a past resident.

This year, COVID changed the way so many of us celebrated the holidays. But thanks to generous volunteers and supporters, women in early recovery were once again surrounded by love and encouragement.

Members of North Side Institutional Church donated baskets of blankets and toiletries for each House resident, and the Ladies of Charity and Delta Kappa Gamma once again teamed up to bring robes, toiletries, and Target shopping bags full of gifts.

Members of St. Louise de Marillac, Christ our Savior Parish (formerly Holy Wisdom Parish), and Shadyside Presbyterian Church, as well as Chris and Barb Dunn, contributed gifts for clients of POWER New Day, POWER Connection, and the children of POWER clients.

Women at the POWER House had Thanksgiving dinner this year courtesy of Rodman Street Baptist Church, and Christmas dinner was provided by the Women’s Alliance of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh. Church members cooked the dinner and delivered it, keeping everyone safe and well fed.

Every holiday season for years, Michelle Ivosevic has been giving POWER House residents and Outpatient clients “recovery bears” – teddy bears in a bag with small items that represent the encouraging thoughts on the attached card. This year, after delivering the gifts, Michelle joined the House women on a Zoom call to encourage them some more.

Long-time volunteers Dawn Getty, Marie Guerra, Vicki Clancy, Sandie Stuart, Carol Jeffrey, and Anita Lioi look forward to their annual holiday crafting at POWER House. This year, they dropped off the craft materials and instructions, along with a cookie tray. Debbie Cincala, Fred Cincala, Debbi Manes and Steve Manes also adapted their yearly decorating tradition by delivering gingerbread house kits and treats. Colleen Doyle created a trivia game to play with the women on Christmas Day. Board member Gisele Fetterman arranged for House women to get homemade cookies from a local cookie exchange.

Thank you to everyone who brought the holiday spirit to POWER this year! Your commitment to community is a vital part of a woman’s recovery.

Find out more about volunteering at POWER.

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