I had the privilege this weekend to be a part of the annual
“Operation Christmas Joy” in Baldwin Park California.
Dr. Sherry Rostami, from Centro De Salud clinic, asked me
to donate my services as a photographer, and take the photos
of the children with Santa. Of course I did this last year and it
was so much fun the answer was an immediate YES!! “Operation
Christmas Joy” is Dr.Rostami’s gift to the community. We knew
that we would have more families this year than last year, because
of the struggling economy. About 700-800 hundred people came
to this joyous event.
The moments inside Santa’s Special Corner were so endearing, that
I wanted to share them with all of you. There were children of
all ages, some with physical and mental challenges, others
who were a bit scared of the big guy in the red suit, and then there were
the outgoing characters. Without a doubt many wanted to make sure
Santa knew what they hoped to get for Christmas. Some waited for
hours in the sun just to get a free photo with Santa, pick up some toys,
get some food.
We gave away trees, bicycles, presents and lots of love. This is to me
what Christmas is all about. Giving your time and love to help others
who so clearly are in need. I thought when we asked for donations that we
would be in trouble because times are tough. But thanks to Walgreens,
Home Depot, Vallarta Supermarkets, Rage Models, Arnolds Hardware the
Baldwin Police Department the Childrens Center in Hollywood, and many
individuals who gave, this was a magical Christmas party for many.
As the song from Flash Dance goes “ What a feeling!”