ARC residents and Women’s Auxiliary volunteers celebrate a tradition

Annual tea held for ARC residents

by Dawn Marks –

Women pictured at the Victorian Christmas tea are (l-r): ARC resident Stephanie, Women’s Auxiliary members Ruth Keller and Jackie Terrell, and ARC resident Janet [Photo by Dawn Marks].

For the last seven years, in the spirit of love and friendship, the ARC Angels—a support group for the ARC women and members of The Salvation Army’s Orange County Women’s Auxiliary—have hosted a Victorian Christmas tea for the women residents of the Anaheim Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC).

In late November, each woman resident living at the ARC receives a handwritten invitation to attend this special tea “in her honor”. Then the auxiliary volunteers get busy unpacking their table linens, polishing tea services, buying and wrapping gifts and preparing traditional tea fare such as cucumber sandwiches, scones and sweets.

Along with the decorating team and kitchen volunteers, up to 29 ARC Angels attend the tea so that each ARC woman beneficiary is paired one on one with a volunteer during the tea.

The auxiliary also gives a gift to each ARC woman. This year the women were thrilled by their gifts of new makeup bags filled with an assortment of high end makeup and skin care products, a pair of warm slipper socks, and an angel soap.

As the volunteers prepare to leave, tears are not uncommon, nor are comments from the beneficiaries such as, “I can’t believe that someone would love me this much to do all this for me,” or, “I’ve never experienced anything as nice as this tea in my life.”

“The Christmas Tea that is put on for the beneficiaries at the Anaheim ARC Women’s Program by the Tustin Ranch/Orange County Women’s Auxiliary is unquestionably one of the highlights of the holiday season for our ladies,” said Captain Mandy Perez, women’s program chaplain at the Anaheim ARC.

“The one-on-one fellowship between each beneficiary and her “ARC angel” is invaluable for our ladies, helping them to know the support and caring of the local community in a personal way.”

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