Our 2022 Match Holiday Party
Hundreds of Bigs, Littles and family members gathered at the 2022 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas match holiday party. Held at the downtown Austin Central Public Library, it was a great opportunity to spend time together, create connections and memories, and ring in the holiday season.
Many participants wore Santa hats, holiday sweaters and Christmas tree “antlers” as they gathered in the library’s special event center. Held with special permission from the library, this after-hours event allowed attendees to explore several levels of the library, even the top floor atrium area which provided a wonderful view of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake.
“This is the first time Ray-Ray has gotten to be in a downtown high-rise building,” said Big Brother Pete about his Little. “The view is so cool. And he loved seeing Santa Claus.”
Santa wasn’t on the rooftop, though his sleigh may have been. He was, however, available for photos as young and old alike enjoyed having their picture taken with the main man.
Kids not only got to see Santa, they also had a chance to pick out a book and select a coat. Little Sister Brianna really enjoyed this part of the event. “She is so excited about her new pink jacket,” said Big Sister Courtney. The jacket matched perfectly with the matching pink and white Christmas sweaters they were wearing.
Thanks to our generous donors, participants were also able to select a toy or gift card to take home for the holidays. Every child in attendance was able to select a gift from an amazing display of donated games, toys, and jewelry. Many use this opportunity to “shop” for family members. Little Brother Ray-Ray picked out a necklace for a friend at school, which made his Big Brother proud. “It was very sweet of him,” said Pete. “He’s quite a gentleman, to forego a gift for himself and get something for his friend.”
Tables were also set up with a variety of board games and playing cards. There were even novelty games like Don’t Spill the Beans and Twister. The games gave matches a chance to get to know other matches in the program, as well as their families.
“Due to the generosity of the Austin Public Library and our numerous supporters we’re able to provide gifts, activities and an amazing holiday experience for our families,” said Joe Strychalski, VP of Programs at BBBS. “It’s great to see our matches building their relationships, connecting with other matches and with BBBS staff, all while having a lot of fun. We’re so grateful to everyone who helps make this possible!”
Special thanks to The Austin Central Public Library and Josh Wilkinson, Santa Tim/Larry Jansen, Comcast, Ashley Chestnutt, US Micro, Dave Alben, Rhia Hernandez, and Brandon Christenson.
Thanks, too, to BBBS amazing staff, the family/friends of BBBS staff, BBBS Executive Board member Jayna Duke and her husband Anthony, as well as a number of community volunteers who provided their time and talents to make this annual event so special and memorable for the children and families we serve.