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Christmas Spirit Comes to the Royal Inn

The local community came out Monday to give some Christmas spirit to about 45 kids living at the Royal Inn in Odenton.

About 45 children at the Royal Inn took part in a tree-lighting ceremony. (Credit: Tim Lemke)
About 45 children at the Royal Inn took part in a tree-lighting ceremony. (Credit: Tim Lemke)

Local firefighters, police officers and volunteers helped bring some holiday spirit to families living at the Royal Inn on Monday night. 

Nearly four dozen children came out for the second annual tree-lighting ceremony, and Santa Claus paid a visit on his fire truck. 

The party is part of a broad effort to bring Christmas spirit to families who are on the verge of homelessness. 

"It's great, because it shows that they can have hope, that they're not forgotten," said Lt. Steve Thomas of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, who helped organize the party. "It also lets us build a relationship with them and their families so that if anything does happen, we can work together."

Jen Corbin of the non-profit Anne Arundel Crisis Response said there is an effort to provide ongoing help to families at the Royal Inn and other motels in Anne Arundel County. Families are constantly in need of assistance to find more permanent housing, along with basic needs including food, baby formula and hygiene products. 

"When you're in this situation, you are in crisis, because it's day-to-day," Corbin said. "Our long-term goal is to not just stop at Christmas, but continue this for the year."

Santa Claus will work with police and community volunteers on delivering gifts Christmas Eve. Collections are happening now. New toys, clothing of all sizes and hygiene products can be dropped off at Perry's Restaurant, the Odenton Volunteer Fire Co. and the Western District Police Station in Odenton. 

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