Assistance During the Holidays
While Scientologist volunteers in all nations continue a long tradition of helping families and children in need during the Christmas holidays, churches of Scientology and their members in several cities, working with community groups, help spread Christmas goodwill in a unique manner.
Every year, the Church of Scientology sponsors the popular Winter Wonderland in Hollywood, California, displaying the film capitals largest Christmas tree some eight stories high and snow trucked in by the ton. In what has become a Hollywood tradition, thousands of children and their parents visit the setting each year.
Winter Wonderland is also an annual feature in Clearwater, Florida, where Scientologists spearhead construction of a Swiss Alpine village, with Santa Claus, skating, train and pony rides, a petting zoo, snowmen and a special Santas Workshop. During the holiday season, more than 30,000 children and their parents enjoy this family-oriented attraction that has brought together many parts of the community. Those who come to enjoy the festivities are encouraged to donate canned goods, clothing and toys which are then distributed to needy families in time for the holidays.
Each year, Scientologists also organize a toy drive and party for Clearwaters foster children. One such party in 1995 resulted in a unique project among the 250 foster children who attended, to bring attention to the plight of abused and neglected children everywhere. The children each traced their individual hand print onto one of a multitude of brilliantly colored and patterned fabrics, wrote their names on the cloth hand and placed it on a 121-square-foot black velvet tapestry which was then quilted by volunteers in the community.
The tapestry, which became known as the Hands of Hope quilt, was subsequently taken on a visit to Washington, D.C., where the children and their parents received a warm welcome from First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the East Room of the White House.
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