Thursday, January 2, 2014

Operation Secret Santa NJ 2013

This year our holiday family day of service was Dec 21st. It was an easy decision what we were going to do! I received a message from My Jersey Girl requesting help for a Christmas on the Island party for families who lost everything during Hurricane Sandy. We were planning a Santa's Workshop. My family decided a free hot chocolate bar would be perfect! We started collecting donations and ended up receiving about 1500 servings of hot chocolate, cups and marshmallows! Again, this does not surprise me because I have the most loving, caring, giving friends, family and coworkers ever!

This is for all of you who helped us get there! Either by donating, sharing or well wishing! Thank you all so much. This is what the holidays are about.
(be sure to read all the way to the bottom where I share photos and the story of the three displaced families that were able to have a Christmas because of my friends, family and coworkers!)
The day was amazing! In more ways than one! Courtney from The Hurricane Resource Center had many elves that helped her put the event together. Tons of volunteers and organizations came together to give this community a fun holiday celebration! A parade...Santa came in by helicopter thanks to the Seaside Heights Fire toys for every chocolate....dancing with radio adoptions....candy canes and crafts!

My Jersey Girl! Courtney! Love you!
What can I say....I love my dad!

 So proud of my nephew and super happy he asked to come with us!
We did have fun....but we worked hard too! You will see!

 Santa Claus is coming to town...that's right! In a helicopter!!!
 See...working hard now!

 Thanks for coming with us Mom and Dad!

Taking a break!
About 2 weeks before the celebration I learned about 3 families still displaced from Hurricane Sandy (there are thousands more)....a family of 5 still living in a hotel room...and 2 families of 4, single mom's struggling and unable to give their families a Christmas at all, not even decorations. Well, we just could not let that happen, not after everything these families had to deal with.  
A quick post to facebook and hours later donations began pouring in! I mean it! In the 2 weeks to follow I received so much that we needed a trailer to haul it all to NJ! (thanks to Pam and her husband for the awesome (pretty) trailer!) So many new toys and gifts for all of the parents and children!
So along with our hot chocolate supplies, we loaded up the SUV, my parents' SUV and the large trailer of gifts and headed to NJ! Not only did we get to serve hot chocolate, but we were Secret Santas too! On Christmas Eve, my friend Courtney was able to head over to these families and surprise them with tons of gifts, gift cards and food!

 My sweet!

By the end of the week, we could not walk through our dining room!

LOOK AT THAT....Each person had a huge black trash bag full of gifts and gift cards! Each person also had a super stuffed overflowing stocking! Thanks to my mom and dad for the bike! What an awesome surprise for these families!

I know these families had the most wonderful Christmas ever. Thanks to my amazing friends, family, neighbors and co-workers!
Now a few words about the love of my life. I don't say it enough (i am going to work on that this year babe!) but I love this man so much. He is always right there for me...always comes through...always my rock. Always encouraging me even though
I know he truly wants to ask me "why" or
scream at me some days! He would never admit that though! He really loves it when I volunteer him for stuff!! lol! Thank you for always being there.
You mean the world to me and I thank you for our adventures! Thank you for raising 2 amazing children with me....together we can do a whole lot!
I Love You 

 (even though you are a Brown's fan!)
May God Bless You All
Happy New Year
Go be a Gift to Others
Love and Hugs...Stacey

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