There’s no question that education is at the core of what we do, but sometimes a celebration is in order. This week we gathered at our longtime partner site, Salvation Army Barton Center, for a wonderful holiday party with the children and families we get to work with each day.

Royal United Mortgage, one of our longest standing corporate partners, was central to the evening. A team of their dedicated employees organized the event and did everything from decorate the room to order and serve the food to plan festive activities and made sure every family went home with gifts to open.

Our friend Maike of M. Rinaye Photography also stopped by to give the gift of family photos to every family there. It was amazing to see parents’ faces transform after being encouraged to laugh with their children and hug them tightly. Maike and her assistant proved that anyone is camera ready when they are surrounded by joy.

Here are some of our favorite moments from the evening!

Santa and his best helper stopped by and showed everyone some magic tricks, while Maike made family memories.

After dinner, everyone decorated their own cookies for dessert. Before eating their art, the kids wanted pictures of their creations. We saw a lot of pretty amazing designs and cleaned up a lot of sprinkles!

If you felt magic in the air this week, you weren’t alone. We felt it too. Thanks to Royal United Mortgage, M. Rinaye, Salvation Army Barton, and all the families we serve for helping create such a memorable night.

Are you looking for ways for your company to partner with School on Wheels and make a difference, check out all the ways to get involved on our site, or contact Fatima Johnson, our Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager.