Holiday Tradition

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Caroling Tradition with Community of Hope

December 2020

We thank you with all our hearts for keeping this tradition alive this year.

Caroling 2018

Purpose of Event

The purpose of this event is to nurture the spirit of goodness that lives in all people by providing an opportunity for homeless families to express their caring to elderly residents in a nursing home. In years past, the children visited the residents, caroled in the hallways, and handed out cards to staff and residents.  Families from Community of Hope, which provides transitional housing for homeless families, gave of themselves. After caroling, the families were taken in a large rented bus to a private home where awaiting them was a delicious lunch. After games, sharing, and a story every child and mother left with a bag full of useful, educational, and fun gifts. This tradition has carried on for  three decades. 

Due to the pandemicwe have amended the tradition.  
This year, the families are making TONS of cards and decorating song books for the residents and staff. The cards will be delivered to the nursing home by a couple of our volunteers and a staff member or two from Community of Hope. The week of Christmas, gifts from people across the city will be delivered to families at Community of Hope, along with a meal. This keeps the tradition of giving and receiving alive.

Get Involved

Please help us have enough gifts for over 30 children and 15 adults parents.  All gifts need to be in our hands by (or preferably before) Wednesday, December 9th.

Unwrapped Gifts can be delivered or dropped off at 3925 Livingston Street NW, Washington, DC 20015-2921. Neighbors and friends are wrapping. We want unwrapped gifts so we can match your gifts well with the preferences of the children.

Call Dorothea Brady at (202) 244-1682 or email her at if you have  questions or want to know the latest on the gift situation. Ideas are also available below.

Your thoughtful generosity will make it possible for each child to have useful, fun  presents he or she wants. In the spirit of the season, we ask that all gifts be new.

If you have friends who want to donate gifts, please let them know that their interest and support are welcome.

Gift Guidelines

The children have given us wish lists. We want to gather fun, useful, educational, and quality new gifts. We do not need stuffed animals, crayons, or markers.

Gift Cards and Quarters: Ranging from $10 up to $50 from Target, Walmart, Giant, plain visa, and a few from Safeway are very helpful to older children and parents. Gift Cards allow the moms and older children to buy the items they need in the style and color they want. Boxes or rolls of quarters for the laundry machines are treasured.  We want to give $250 worth of gift cards to every parent.

Please call Dodie Brady for the latest needs to be filled at (202) 244-1682 if you are giving at the last minute.

2020 Gift Requests

  • Handheld electronic games (boys and girls ages 4 to 9 years old)
  • Tag Reading Learning System by Leapfrog (6 year old boy)
  • New Toys for 2 year old girls
    • They are getting stuffed animals but something interactive would be great
  • Girl Shoes
    • Toddler sizes 4/5,  6.5, and 9
    • Youth size 1 and 6
    • Youth size boots 9 and 12.5
  • Boy Shoe: Youth size 2 for 6 year old
  • Yetti in My Spaghetti
  • LOL dolls
  • LOL surprises
  • Anything Minnie Mouse
  • Socks from three months through adults for men and women
    • See age and gender statistics for this year. 
    • Please no Christmas socks – we have tons of those
  • Soaps and quality hand sanitizers for Adults
  • Nice tote umbrella for moms and dads
  • Football for 19 year old

Gifts for Boys

  • Scooters with flashing wheels
  • Lego Kits of all sizes
  • Spiderman & Batman toys
  • Spiderman sheet sets
  • Tonka Dump trucks
  • Remote control cars and helicopters for young and older children
  • Ninja Turtles
  • Power Rangers
  • Paw Patrol set
  • Hot Wheel Racetracks
  • Robots
  • STEM toys
  • Basketballs and Footballs
    • Regular size for nine and up and smaller size for little ones.

Gifts for Girls

  • STEM Toys
  • Educational games
  • Twin sheet sets with comforter
  • Melissa and Doug Food Items
  • Barbie type dolls for 4 to 7
    • (Dolls of color are preferred.)
  • Clothes and accessories for Barbie type dolls
  • Craft kits
  • Girls 7 and up like Beads & age appropriate jewelry making kits
  • Costume jewelry
  • Lip gloss
  • Cloth Jump Ropes
  • Doc McStuffin is beloved
  • Make up for older girls
  • Journals with nice pens

Gifts for Boys & Girls

  • Tablets
  • Headphone that have both speaking and listening ability
  • Plain drawing pads
  • Floor and regular puzzles
  • Clothes (including sweaters and jackets)
  • Electronic games and toys
  • Toys that light up (for young children)
  • Rhino Hero and Haba games
  • Rummikub
  • Pentago
  • Spot It
  • Sequence
  • Trivia Pursuit for Kids
  • Activity and coloring books
  • STEM Toys

Gifts for Moms & Dads

  • Gift cards from Target, Walmart, Giant, and plain Visa cards
  • Flashlights
  • Throws (Including heated ones)
  • Warm socks
  • Colognes
  • Warm gloves
  • Nail polish
  • Manicure kits with good nail and toenail clippers
  • Sudoku or word games books
  • Screw drivers

Donations of crisp apples, clementines, and/or homemade Christmas cookies are welcome, so each family can have plenty with the holiday meal we are providing.
Please deliver those by December 18th.

Age & Gender Statistics

As of November 16,2020: 

  • PARENTS: 7 Moms, 4 Dads
  • GIRLS:  3 months, 12 months, 4 two year old girls (two are close to three years old),  1 three year old, 1 four year old,  5 five year olds, and 1 eight year old girl
  • BOYS: 1 baby in the womb, 1 two year old, 1 five year old, 3 Six year olds, 1 Nine year old, and 1 nineteen year old.


Thank you so much for your kindness and taking the time to buy the children and their parents useful and thoughtful gifts. We very much appreciate your support. We tell families the gifts come from people who are rooting for their well-being. If we have a miraculous overflow of gifts, we donate them to other families in need.

How else can you participate?

We accept financial contributions all year long. Our current projects include: our caroling tradition of three decades; sponsoring the 33rd essay contest in Spring 2021 for DCPS students; showcasing past essayists; partnering with other organizations to bridge communities and address the needs of homeless and low-income families. We are exploring legacy options and laying groundwork for an international essay contest and other activities.