Collin County- based JP & Associates Realtors recently hosted its fourth annual Christmas party for children at City House and The Samaritan Inn, two of the county’s resources for the homeless.
Most of the children are living in shelters or in transitional housing.
The real estate company reserved Main Event in Frisco for an entire evening this weekend. More than 150 children enjoyed free arcade games, bowling, laser tag, gifts and dinner.
Each child also received a gift from Santa and a stocking full of treats and surprises. Company founder and owner JP Piccinini finished the night announcing scholarships.
About $10,000 raised throughout the year by JP & Associates Realtors and other Dallas-area companies was split between The Samaritan Inn, Collin County’s only comprehensive homeless shelter, and City House’s education fund, which will be available for multiple students applying for scholarships.
“We really wanted to find a great way to reach out to the youth of Collin County since we started in Frisco,” Piccinini said. “We’ve actually had kids who have gone to our Christmas party for all four years and have said that they couldn’t have made it without the scholarship we gave to support them.
“It’s amazing how these kids can break the mold, get out of the situation that they’re in, graduate college and get jobs. That’s the ultimate reward.”
Both charities aid children who are neglected, abused or homeless – thus, they were typically unable to enjoy traditional holiday festivities until they got to take part in the Christmas party.
“The kids are with us from 90 days up to 180 days,” said Sheri Messer, City House executive director. “What we try to do is create as much normalcy as a home environment would be. We want them to celebrate the holidays as a family.”
In previous years, JP & Associates gave a set amount to one student each at City House and The Samaritan Inn. This year, City House established an education fund that gives all students a better chance to receive some support for their educational endeavors.
City House will launch the fund next spring.
“We hope that the scholarship will provide funds for not just college, but kids wishing to go into trade school or a specific field,” Messer said. “We want the money to provide the training for their individual interests and future careers.”