Holidays with the Harvest Family

Can you recall that feeling when Santa (or a family member) got you exactly what you asked for as a holiday gift? No matter your age, it’s a wonderful feeling that reminds you of how loved and valued you are.

It is out of this need that the Harvest House holiday traditions were born. We host holiday parties for each of our programs, and for each of these parties, we recreate traditional family experiences however we can – because Harvest House staff and clients are family. We relax together, celebrate all that we’re grateful for, eat delicious meals, play fun games that often come with cool prizes for everyone in the family, exchange gifts, and get a special appearance from Santa!

But, when you have a family of over 400 people, you can imagine how busy it gets around here, so we’ve solicited the help of our generous and giving community this year – and wow! Donors, friends, family, and community partners all showed up to support our efforts. We are all so grateful!

We kicked off the season with a Christmas Party for the women in the Freedom program at the beginning of December. For those in our addiction recovery programs, this season can be an especially difficult time of year as gatherings with family and friends often involve alcohol and other substances. Harvest House, however, knows how to have a great time, *substance-free*. We will end the year with a huge celebration on New Year’s Eve on the men’s Freedom campus complete with football games on a big screen, visits from friends and family, and delicious food prepared by our in-house chef, kitchen manager, and Freedom program graduate – Robin. We’d like to give a special shoutout to Richard and Sara Devine, parents of the beloved Mike Devine, for donating some delicious food for this upcoming celebration. Check out more photos here.

Four hardworking students at the Ringling College of Art + Design stopped by our offices a few weeks ago with handmade hygiene packets for our Freedom clients. About 72% of Freedom program participants are coming to us directly from being incarcerated, and they often have nothing but the clothes on their backs. The Ringling College students made these packets in partnership with Clean The World, an organization that collects and recycles discarded soap and plastic amenity bottles from participating hospitality partners. Click here for more photos!

We host Christmas parties for the 25 families currently in the Home Again permanent supportive housing program, the 9 youth living in New Heights and the almost 30 that we serve with outreach and transitional housing, and the families that will be in the emergency shelter just before Christmas. The Home Again Christmas party, the Family Haven celebration, and the New Heights Party were a blast! Check out the photos by clicking the links above.

We work hard making gift lists and checking them twice for every client, including the kids. This year, we put some special items on our online wishlist partner, Quinnd and not only did a few stellar donors help out, but the founders of Quinnd and their friends did too. The coolest part is that when you use Quinnd for free for your own wishlist, Quinnd will continue to support local nonprofits! Visit for more info. Check out more photos here. 

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

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