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Epiphany Party touches hearts

Kudos to all those who helped make Monday night’s 10th annual Epiphany Party a success — your efforts touched a lot of hearts.

The event treats some of Denton’s less-fortunate and homeless residents to an evening featuring fellowship, gifts and entertainment at a time of year when many are left out of traditional festivities.

“The holidays can be rough for Denton’s poor and homeless,” event founder Lico Reyes said. “It’s during this time of year where they go into depression because they’re reminded that they can’t afford as much as other people. That’s why I hold this event, so they know people care.”

Each year, Reyes joins local residents, businesses, churches and other organizations in offering food and other gifts to people and families in need.

Though the event commemorates the day the three Wise Men, or Magi, came to offer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus, Reyes said the event is nondenominational and nonpartisan.

“It’s just a party,” Reyes said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe in. We just want to show everyone a good time and show kindness.”

For the second consecutive year, the event was held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and included flowers for the women, toys for the children and entertainment including clowns, a disc jockey and karaoke.

More than 90 people attended this year’s event, which fell on yet another cold Denton night. When temperatures drop below freezing, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church opens its doors for homeless individuals and their families, so that they can escape the dangerous weather conditions.

On Monday, families waiting for the shelter’s doors to open were treated to something special — the Epiphany Party.

Reyes signed up more than 15 sponsors for the event, and that does not include the numerous families and volunteers who donated clothes and toys. This year more than 20 people volunteered, Reyes said.

“Each year, I let everyone know what I’m trying to do and what I need and they are always willing to give,” he said. “Some of these people are the kindest, selfless people you’ll ever meet.”

Several tables were stacked with donated shirts, pants, shoes and toys.

One woman who attended Monday night’s event said many guests were good people who are “going through a rough patch,” and although they may not say it out loud, they all appreciated the efforts of organizers.

“This is only temporary,” she told us. “One day I plan to be in a place where I can help people who are going through the same troubles I’m going through now.”

That’s one of the most impressive things about events like the Epiphany Party — reaching out a hand to those in need not only provides immediate help and hope, but it can also inspire future acts of kindness.

Thanks to those who helped make Monday night’s event possible — your efforts could have a much greater impact than you realize.

Kindness truly is a gift that keeps on giving.