Healthy Families holds Christmas party

Published 2:57 pm Monday, December 24, 2018

The Healthy Families program on Friday held a Christmas party for its participants filled with food, fun, dancing, music and, of course, Santa Claus.

At least 30 families attended the event held at the Health and Human Services Building on Hall Avenue, according to Beverly McQuarry, Healthy Families program director.

“Parenting is a hard job, and you can feel alone sometimes,” McQuarry said. “Being around other people who are parenting as well, in a fun environment, can be nurturing, and it’s something fun for the parent and the child.”

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Children and parents snacked on ham biscuits and Goldfish crackers, did crafts, danced to Christmas tunes with a Snow Queen, participated in a gift exchange and more. Children in the program will also receive toys and clothes, McQuarry said.

Torianne Radford came to the party with her 5-month-old, Elessia. She said her Healthy Families counselor encouraged her to come.

“She said it was going to be fun,” she said.

The Healthy Families program helps new parents from birth of the child to age 5. Counselors help families with home visits, checking on the child’s developmental milestones and more.

McQuarry said Friday’s party was made possible by donations from the community.

Bethlehem Christian Church women’s fellowship provided refreshments, and staff from the Early Childhood Development Commission, Suffolk Public Library and Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater also pitched in.