Alica, 7 years-old, has been in recovery from malnutrition for two months. When she came to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Program she was ill, tired and sad. Little did she imagine anything like Christmas on October 28. That day she was merely fighting to survive her hunger and the sickness it had brought her. Food was probably all she could dream of. Toys, Santa Claus and angels singing songs were not even a possibility.

Now imagine her delight at the sounds, smells and sights of Christmas!

Fresh-cut poinsettias, pine branches, candles and lights decorated the PAHS Chapel on Christmas Eve. The teens and staff of the PAHS Home had prepared an original Christmas program to tell the Story of Jesus’ birth. An angel choir sang, shepherds with live lambs appeared to see a real “Baby Jesus” played by Elizabeth, 16 months old, a patient from the Casita Feliz, who quietly peered first at “Mary” then at “Joseph” then at the angels, shepherds and wise men, peacefully taking in all the sights and sounds.

On Aileen’s lap sat Alicia who, not knowing any of the songs the choir was performing, joined in singing at the top of her lungs in sweet sounds only she understands. What a joyful sound it was! What a delight to see this precious child, who just nine weeks ago was suffering Third Degree Malnutrition, joining enthusiastically in the festivities and throughly enjoying herself.

“That is the most beautiful Christmas program I’ve ever seen. That was really special,” stated volunteer Rachel Pratt at the end of the Christmas program. How fitting that this is Alicia’s first Christmas celebration!

On Christmas Day, Alicia got to sit on Santa’s lap and with a beaming smile received her gift. The sparkle in her eyes and the smile on her face were priceless.

Alicia represents many children whose lives are touched by your generosity. Thank you for being part of the team that provided her with food, shelter, love, a Christmas sparkle in her eyes and the opportunity to keep on singing!

Perhaps next Christmas she will know the words to the songs and she too will be dressed in a white angel’s robe in the choir; perhaps she will even know the alphabet by then. Thanks to you the possibilities are endless.