When Jasmine Jones thinks about a Christmas party, she thinks big – how to offer food, gifts and a holiday break to anyone who shows up. That’s the idea behind the Jingle Party, a new approach to Our Daily Bread Employment Center’s annual Christmas gathering.

In recent years, the center hosted a 100 Man Party, focusing the festivities on a specific group. But Jones, the center’s volunteer manager, said she wanted to throw open the doors to all in 2021.

“This is important, especially now because of COVID. A lot of people lost their jobs. A lot of people are financially held back,” she said. “And this is something that will put a smile on everybody’s faces – to have some sort of hope to be able to put something under the Christmas tree, to be warm for Christmas, or to have a warm meal for Christmas.”

Gifts and a warm meal

The Jingle Party will be held on Dec. 18 as a first-come-first-served event, with no registration required. As people arrive, they’ll have an opportunity to browse tables with clothing and gear laid out by size and gender, choosing flannels, shirts, underclothes and other items. Parents will also be able to pick out toys for their children.

After selecting from the tables, guests will be invited to a catered meal, served by staff and volunteers. As pandemic restrictions limit the number of people who can be seated in the dining room at once, to-go meals will also be available.

Jones said donations make the annual Christmas celebration possible. Because the center has men’s clothing left over from last year’s event, she is particularly hoping to receive donations of children’s and women’s clothes, toys for children of all ages and personal care products.

Those interested in donating items to the Jingle Party or volunteering at the event can be in touch with Jones directly at [email protected] or 667-600-3438.

Specific items needed for the Dec. 18 event include:

  • Toys (all ages)
  • Underclothes for women (sizes small through x-large)
  • Socks, hats and gloves for women and children
  • Toiletries such as toilet paper, individual toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant (for men and women) and feminine products.

Donors can drop off new, wrapped gifts by Dec. 10 at Our Daily Bread Employment Center, 725 Fallsway, Baltimore, MD 21202.

For other ways to give during this holiday season, please visit Catholic Charities’ Comfort & Joy site.