|For the second straight year, Santa Claus, Scott Dutra and his daughters Gabriella (left), 16, and Miranda, 17, spent their Christmas morning at the NOAH Shelter.|
Of all the holidays, Christmas may be the most joyous. But it can also be one of the saddest, particularly for those without a home.
That may explain why Greg Bar has spent the past two at the NOAH Shelter, giving a little joy for those who need it most.
Instead of his usual position as facility director at the shelter, Bar assumed another title on this day – entertainer, playing the guitar and singing a medley of holiday songs joined by a handful of volunteers that included Santa Claus, Scott Dutra and his children Gabriella, 16, and Miranda, 17, of Centerville, Rachel Todoroff of Hyannis, Michele Colley of Centerville and Paloma and Dave McLardy of Hyannis.
He started with “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and over the next 30 minutes was joined by those in the shelter – some singing, some dancing, some clapping – before ending with “Angels We’ve Heard on High.”
And then, Bar addressed those he sees on a daily basis, letting them know they would be receiving gifts which included an assortment of toiletries and clothes, as well as $100 each from an anonymous donor. “I want to say that this is an expression of our acknowledgement that you are trying,” Bar told them.
He was speaking to those like Jeananne, 55, who has been without a home since last summer. “It is embarrassing because people treat you different when you’re homeless,” she said, before adding that, “My faith always brings me through when I feel like I should just give up.”
That is something she refuses to do; her dream is to one day open her own catering business. “I’ve got a lot of ideas and am a really good cook,” she said, perhaps receiving a little boost of confidence on this Christmas day from the kindness of complete strangers like the Dutras and the McLardys.
“You are humbled knowing there are people out there that are less fortunate than you,” said Scott, who has participated in the annual event the past two years. “And it’s nice to be able to give back to the community and show them a little love during the holiday season.”
As Bar put it, the act of charity is what those at the NOAH Shelter need, not only at this time of year, but at this point in their lives. “This gives them a little light in the midst of the darkness,” Bar said.