On Monday, December 18, 2006, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church hosted its annual Christmas party for the residents of the St. Andrew’s Foundation. The Foundation provides care and training for mentally handicapped adults to prepare them for a more independent life style. St. Alban's has been hosting the St. Andrew's Foundation residents for twenty years. For the past eighteen years the event has been directed by Betsy Gordon.
Each year the guests from the foundation and the St. Alban’s members share in a meal and enjoy a Christmas carol sing-along. The guests leave with a van full of Christmas presents chosen especially for each of them. Deacon-In-Charge at St Alban’s, Reverend John Mark Ford, tells Bluffparkal.org that for many of the residents, the party and gifts provided by St. Alban's is the only Christmas they have.
The residents of the St. Andrew’s Foundation and the St. Alban's parish have come to care for each other as a family. The participants look forward each year to this time of coming together with old friends and new, sharing the gift of Christmas.
Because it is such a tradition at St. Alban's, the congregation looks forward to the event as a meaningful part of Christmas. “In many ways, it is a nice counterbalance to the superficiality and consumerism that often accompanies the Christmas season,” Rev. Ford said.