St. Peter School (SPS) families gathered on Thursday, Dec.15 to celebrate the holiday season in St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill.
Students in Pre-K through Eighth Grade sang a medley of traditional and popular Christmas favorites, with bonus performances by the St. Peter School Choir and the Eighth Grade Christmas Pageant.
At the conclusion of the event, the congregation sang My Grown-Up Christmas List—led by the St. Peter School Choir and accompanied on piano by Music Teacher and Choir Director Paul Griffin—while students presented 172 toys donated by SPS families for Shirley’s Place Day Center at Everyone Home DC.
Everyone Home DC provides a range of services aimed at supporting the holistic needs of individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Capitol Hill and the District.
Kate Akalonu, Everyone Home DC Director of Strategic Initiatives, said families affiliated with their programming will receive the toys this week, in advance of Christmas. Many of them live in close proximity to the organization’s Drop-in Day Center, Shirley’s Place (1338 G St. SE), she added.
The drop-in center gives those experiencing homelessness a safe and welcoming space off the street and access to meals, showers, laundry, mail services and government social services referrals.
“Everyone Home is incredibly grateful for the St Peter School’s generous support in providing holiday gifts for the families we work closely with,” Akalonu said. “When inflation is squeezing the budget of so many, St. Peter School’s kindness ensures children in our community have something to open on Christmas morning and allows caregivers to focus on other financial obligations.”
But St. Peter School representatives said that gathering together and experiencing the joy of sharing was the true gift. “The advent season is a time when we reflect on the gifts we receive through Christ and how we can manifest that as a community,” St. Peter School Principal Karen Clay said. “Being able to gather, hear the children sing, and experience this joy together has been a great gift.”
Clay said the school hopes to continue spreading hope, joy, love, and peace across Capitol Hill in the new year.