Legacy of Love in the Tenderloin

This year’s Nail Day Christmas Party was festive and heart-warming. Our ministry team, joined by 11 outstanding volunteers, welcomed 49 guests, including precious regulars and quite a few new faces thanks to expanded outreach.  One lady we hadn’t met previously was actually with us when Nail Day started back in 2008, an important reminder of BJM’s legacy in the Tenderloin – a safe place for women to experience the love of God.

Great volunteers are key to the experience of being seen and cared for. God must have hand-picked these volunteers. A discipleship team from YWAM Chico loved with expert precision, helping with the gift boutique, providing hospitality and staffing the game table. A first-time Russian-speaking volunteer made a sweet connection with a gal who has been an active member of the Tenderloin community for years but has missed speaking her native tongue so far from her homeland. Over manicures and prayers, volunteers become friends.


Julia told a beautiful Christmas story about the Angel Gabriel’s perplexing encounter with Mary, highlighting both Mary’s vulnerability as she faced difficult circumstances, as well as her joy as she placed her trust in God.

Decked with a lovely array of festive cookies, cakes, and savory wraps, the refreshment table included a special mocha station. A simple invitation such as “would you like whipped cream and sprinkles on that” communicated an affirming message:

You have a choice and what you want matters.

This is not a message our guests hear very often.

Choices, however, can be overwhelming. We set up a boutique of new backpacks, and gently worn purses donated by teams throughout the Bay Area. As guests were invited to choose an item, a few women were actually moved to tears by the selection.


Assisted by a very kind and patient personal shopper, they were encouraged to take their time. Eventually, every guest left with a personal gift – something that they selected themselves – as well as a gift bag filled with beautiful treasures crafted by local churches.

For Because Justice Matters, the Nail Day Christmas Party is one of the most important connecting points of the year. The holidays can accentuate experiences of pain and loss, and of being disconnected from family.

This party symbolizes the party that the Father throws at each prodigal’s return. The personal gift of a Savior. The banquet in Heaven, complete with sprinkles and whipped cream.

Christmas comes once a year. Nail Day happens the second Saturday of every month. Since 2008, the women from the inner city count on this opportunity for fellowship, to be loved and valued for who they are. Partner with Because Justice Matters with a special year-end gift, or become a monthly supporter. Join us as we build pathways to brighter futures for women and girls in the heart of this city.   

Tate Callejas