FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – In Frisco on Sunday, kids, who most of the year make do with much less, are treated to a party without limits.
“Tonight, it’s over-the-top; but, we have a reason to give them an over-the-top party,” said JP Piccinini, CEO of JP & Associates Realtors. “We’ve been blessed beyond measure, and we felt like we need to give back.”
It’s the fifth year that Piccinini has hosted the holiday gathering for children living at local homeless shelters – The Samaritan Inn and City House. Children living at the Buckner Children’s Home are also included.
The Main Event entertainment complex is closed to the public for the evening so the special guests can enjoy an unforgettable evening of all you can eat pizza, lemonade, soda, games, face painting, pictures with Santa and presents.
Eight-year-old Sara couldn’t stop smiling. “Playing games and having fun!” she shared with a smile that would have melted even Scrooge’s heart.
“She will talk about this night all month and even after,” said her mother, Libby Watson. Watson said she grew up in west Plano and became homeless earlier this year. So she warns others that it doesn’t take much for life to take a turn.
“I never in a million years thought I would be in a predicament that I’m in,” said Watson. “One thing after another happens and it could happen in a snap of a finger. One day everything’s fine and everything’s gone the next day. Not that hard at all.”
Organizers said the annual holiday party is an investment in caring – where they reap the dividends, delivered in smiles.
“A lot of us have a roof over our head around Christmas time,” said Piccinini, “the majority of these kids do not.” Piccinini said with the help of sponsors, they’re able to host about 250 kids at the holiday party. But, he said many more in North Texas could use a helping hand. “Get involved. Try to donate. It’s the Christmas season of giving. Let’s put some smiles on some kids’ faces.”
Organizers also give thousands of dollars in scholarships to young people growing up homeless or in foster care to help them break the cycles of poverty and bad choices.
“It was disappointing and shameful,” said Watson on becoming homeless. “But, with the grace of God I have come back… and if it wasn’t for the good Lord and the Samaritan Inn, I don’t know where I would be.”