Tis the season once again…

A special story is developing in our city again this holiday season. It is not splashy and most will never hear about the impact, but 176 children are experiencing hope, joy and, quite simply, so much fun because of the generosity of a few special people this Christmas season.

DREAM Alive Scholars and Their Mentors

Local not-for-profit DREAM Alive is hosting its 8th annual DREAM Christmas event. Headed by former Colts standout Tarik Glenn, DREAM Alive is partnering with Coburn Place, School on Wheels and Kid’s Voice to bring 88 of their children joy and cheer this Christmas. Matched with each of these children are 88 of DREAM Alive’s junior high and high school scholars who have each chosen to move beyond their personal challenges and instead focus on giving to another. It is spectacular to watch what takes place in the heart of a child as they choose to give and not just receive. For this special event, every scholar shops, wraps gifts and hosts a child from one of the partnering organizations at the DREAM Christmas event. It is priceless to watch this unfold as the scholar comes alongside and truly blesses the child he or she has worked so hard for.

A unique aspect of this event is the deep personal involvement of local companies and other organizations. A large number of employees from several companies – American Structurepoint, Chase Bank, Bastian Material Handling, Republic Services and Primerica – invested their time to help the scholars pick out gifts at a local Meijer, and then festive wrapping parties were held at five businesses around the city with both the companies’ employees and DREAM Alive scholars.

This year the Indianapolis Colts invested in a big way, further demonstrating their commitment to our city. The Indianapolis Colts Women’s Organization is co-hosting this wonderful event along with DREAM Alive. The ICWO team, in addition to their financial support, helped with the shopping, hosted a wrapping party and will be there volunteering en masse to celebrate that special evening. The Colts are also opening the Colts Pavilion on West 56th Street to hold the DREAM Christmas event in the midst of their super season.

DREAM Christmas is a shining example of what’s beautiful about Indianapolis. Tarik and Maya Glenn had a vision over a decade ago to break down barriers and forge a new definition of community. As they persevered to establish DREAM Alive they have been encouraged and supported along the way by caring people from all different walks of life, business and organizations throughout the community, a large number of zip codes representing all areas of Indianapolis and the surrounding suburbs. This wonderful annual event captures the very soul of Christmas and touches the heart of everyone involved.

And for 176 children in challenging circumstances, this will truly be a Merry Christmas.