‘Shining Our Light’ Holiday Celebration continues a legacy of giving

‘Shining Our Light’ Holiday Celebration continues a legacy of giving
December 12
03:00 2019

With the holiday season in full swing, last weekend the Alana Alston Family Foundation did its part to ensure more than a dozen families will enjoy the holidays when they hosted their inaugural Shining Our Light Holiday Celebration. 

During the event held at the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown, 20 children and their families were treated to a catered holiday dinner and gift giveaway. Children also had the opportunity to connect with local business professionals and other volunteers, painting, drawing, and creating Christmas ornaments. Yasmeen Alston, founder of the Alana Alston Family Foundation, said the purpose of the holiday celebration was to create a sense of family..

“We want the kids to be able to succeed and it starts at home with family,” Alston continued. “Whatever that family construct is, the support comes from the family. Even if it’s extended family, having that support is what motivates kids and pushes kids to do their best, be their best and ultimately become successful.” 

Alston said if her sister were alive, the holiday celebration is exactly the type of thing she would be hosting. She said even at a young age, her sister demonstrated a passion for giving and helping those in need. Alana Alston, who was a native of Winston-Salem, lost her life at the young age of 22 after complications from surgery after battling necrotizing fasciitis in 2013. The Alana Alston Foundation was started in her honor. The purpose of the foundation is to keep Alana’s legacy alive by enriching the community, promoting excellence in youth and fostering family relationships. 

“What we’re doing is exactly what she would be doing if she was here. She passed away when she was 22, but even before that, as a teenager she would do anything to put a smile on a kid’s face and make them happy, so this is her exact aura. This is her, ” Alston said. “We wanted to keep her energy alive and this was the best way to do it, doing exactly what she would do if she were here.”

Along with the holiday celebration, the Alana Alston Family Foundation also hosts an annual back-to-school giveaway, community Halloween party, and a winter coat drive. For more information visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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