On December 16th and 17th, JBS continued our tradition of a Holiday Party for the consumers…PANDEMIC STYLE!  We were not able to host our traditional holiday party at the Boutwell Auditorium due to restrictions on large gatherings, social distancing requirements, and the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.  We did not want to interrupt this favorite tradition for our consumers, so we decided to get creative.  Yvonne Gallman, Associate Director/Controller, had a vision of purchasing overnight duffel bags for every consumer so that no one would ever have to use paper/plastic bags to transport their belongings.  This vision sparked the creativity and our Executive Director, Jim Crego, had the idea to order barbeque meals from Martin’s BBQ Joint in Cahaba Heights to be delivered to each group home or MOM Apartment to celebrate the holiday party.  Thus, the 2020 JBS Holiday Party Pandemic Style was born.

Santa’s workshop was in full swing on December 4th as members of the accounting department, property management department, and many Certified Peer Specialists gathered in the JBS board room to create holiday magic.  Gifts were wrapped and a personalized luggage tag to identify the recipient of the gift was attached by Santa’s elves.  Workstations were set up 6 feet apart, masks were worn, and 375 gifts were wrapped and sorted by all of Santa’s elves.  Those same elves gathered again on December 16th and 17th to coordinate the pick-up of the delicious meals and gifts for our consumers by each group home or MOM Apartment setting.  Individuals in our HUD Supported Housing Program, Community Supported Housing Program, and the ProACT Team received individual meals and their gift delivered by  their case manager or case coordinator.

In a year that has introduced a new normal and forced us to change how we deliver services we hope the Holiday Party Pandemic Style provided a sense of familiarity for our consumers.  Santa’s elves certainly enjoyed planning and executing the party this year!  Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!