Charity puts up homeless families in hotel for Christmas

ROCHESTER, NY (WHEC) — This Christmas Eve, some local families in need will be checking into a hotel for a much-needed Christmas staycation.

A group called Champions of Change is doing its second annual hotel for the holidays where volunteers decorate rooms to help homeless families in need.

Twenty families with about 35 kids will be checking into the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown on Christmas Eve and enjoy 48 hours in the hotel. Organizers say this way they won’t have to wake up on Christmas morning in a shelter.

“We have the tree with presents underneath we have stockings that are hand-picked out with items specifically for the children. There will be activities that will be going on, bingo games, a scavenger hunt and swimsuits for families to enjoy the pool here at the hotel. There will also be meals throughout their entire stay,” said Lauren Murray, site coordinator for Champions of Change.

With the help of donations from around the community, this team of makeshift Santa’s and little helpers are learning what the Christmas spirit is all about.

“This is an opportunity for the younger kids to learn how to be grateful,” said volunteer Emily Ryan “It’s also how Christmas is not all about gifts and Santa; that it’s about people and people coming together to create community and have an awesome night.”

Organizers say that there’s no better time than to teach the next generation about giving back while also giving the ultimate gift to those in need.

“We wanted to create a safe, warm loving environment for them so that the kids can see the true Christmas spirit and we just wanted to provide that for them and this is a great way,” Murray said.

If you would like to help donate to the Champions of Change’s annual hotel for the holidays, click here.