December 29, 2022

Making The Holidays Special For Our Participants

Participants, Volunteers and Staff enjoy a delicious holiday meal at AFJ's Harlem Center.

As the year winds down, Avenues for Justice (AFJ) is excited to bring back our holiday celebrations for our Participants; events which have been postponed since the onset of the pandemic.

On December 16th, AFJ hosted a holiday dinner in Harlem where Participants and their families, volunteers, and Staff came together to celebrate the season. AFJ Court Advocates, Brian and Nora, prepared a delicious meal consisting of Jambalaya, brussels sprout parmesan salad, and glazed brussels sprouts. Court Advocate, Tiffany, topped it off with a chocolate cake! Many Participants commented on the fact that the dishes consisted of things they had not tried before. Participants played ping pong, watched holiday movies, and worked on their digital literacy certifications!

On December 21st and 22nd, AFJ was grateful to have a Master Barber, who was referred to us by the Fortune Society, come to each of our centers to provide holiday shape-ups, haircuts, and beard trims for our Participants. This was the second year we were able to offer this service. AFJ COO, Liz, commented on how “We all know that when the upkeep of our hair is maintained, one feels confident and better about self. Therefore, it is important for AFJ to promote self-positivity to our Participants to ensure that they take pride in how they present themselves at all times. But more than anything, we want our Participants to feel like a million bucks!” Participants were excited to learn about the barber’s background and experience—as he too had gone through the criminal justice system and turned his life around for the better. 

Last week Thursday, we hosted our final holiday meal for the year at our Lower East Side community center. It was a joyous celebration filled with delicious food prepared by Court Advocates, Shantel and Elsie. 

At this celebration, we welcomed over 20 Participants and their families, volunteers, and alumni. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful to all of our supporters who make this celebration and safe space possible to provide to our AFJ community. 

We thank you for supporting another successful year ofproviding #ServicesNotCells and #JobsNotJails. We wish you all a very Happy NewYear!


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