Bring­ing Joy to Chil­dren at Christ­mas

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Over 1,400 chil­dren in Saint Lu­cia re­ceived an early Christ­mas gift this year cour­tesy of San­dals Foun­da­tion and part­ner Has­bro Inc., a global play and entertainment com­pany com­mit­ted to mak­ing the world a bet­ter place for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

On Novem­ber 29th, the day in­ter­na­tion­ally cel­e­brated as ‘Giv­ing Tues­day’, the Foun­da­tion launched its on­line and on-prop­erty cam­paign. Through this ini­tia­tive, when con­sumers do­nate to the Foun­da­tion’s #In­spireJoyWithAToy cam­paign from now through to De­cem­ber 25, 2016, Has­bro, Inc. will do­nate a brand new toy or game (up to 15,000 toys/games in to­tal) to a less for­tu­nate child. Ad­di­tion­ally, in sup­port of its “Play Re­lief” ef­forts, Has­bro Inc. has com­mit­ted an ad­di­tional 7,500 toys and games to chil­dren most im­pacted by Hur­ri­cane Matthew in The Ba­hamas and Haiti.

All monies raised from this year’s cam­paign will go to­wards sup­port­ing the Foun­da­tion’s Hol­i­day Treats events, which pro­vide thou­sands of chil­dren with a healthy meal and a toy this Christ­mas sea­son. This year, a to­tal of 76 treats are be­ing hosted across the Caribbean re­gion.

Each year the Foun­da­tion en­sures that through­out the re­gion chil­dren aged 5 to 17 years can join in the Christ­mas cheer through its an­nual Toy Drive ini­tia­tive. To ful­fill this year’s mis­sion to ‘In­spire Joy with a Toy’, San­dals team mem­bers, led by their Gen­eral Man­agers, read­ily pitched in to help wrap car­loads of gifts and treats and de­liver them to schools across the is­land, from Gros Islet in the North to Den­nery on the East Coast.

San­dals Hal­cyon Gen­eral Man­ager, Chris El­liott, in sum­ming up his visit to the Roseau Com­bined School said, “These chil­dren will never for­get this ex­pe­ri­ence. There is just some­thing so spe­cial about giv­ing a child a gift at Christ­mas time. I al­ways make time for this event.”

Mean­while San­dals Re­gency La Toc Gen­eral Man­ager, Michael James, was moved to say that he “felt like a child again”. He as­sisted team mem­ber Kei­tha Joseph who played the role of Mrs. Claus at the Marc­hand Com­bined School, hand­ing out a gift to each boy, while Mrs. Claus pre­sented gifts to the girls.

San­dals Grande St. Lu­cian Gen­eral Man­ager, Win­ston An­der­son, mo­bi­lized his team and had spe­cial praise for team mem­ber Teroll Comp­ton who stepped up to the plate as Santa Claus. “Af­ter all, what is a gift­giv­ing with­out Santa?” he said. The Saint Lu­cia Cri­sis Cen­tre also re­ceived a spe­cial visit from the San­dals Santa.

Some­time it’s the small­est gifts that make a big dif­fer­ence. The joy of giv­ing can never be un­der­es­ti­mated, es­pe­cially at Christ­mas time. The San­dals Foun­da­tion is there­fore pleased to be as­so­ci­ated with an event that brings hap­pi­ness to chil­dren in Saint Lu­cia, and in all is­lands where it is part of the com­mu­nity.

Stu­dents with Santa at the Gros Islet In­fant School.

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