NJ Garden City Alumnae Sponsors Santa Party

Submitted by Beverly Burgess

It was a week before Christmas, with kids gathered around, when sorors heard the children whispering, “I hear that a Black Santa’s coming to town.” New Jersey Garden City Alumnae Chapter (NJGCA), in collaboration with The Dreams of Tomorrow (DOT Organization) and Tweed Design, both local community businesses, held a “Santa Party” on Dec. 17, 2022, at a local recreational center in Winslow Township.

The purpose of the day was to offer an African-American experience to the students that was cultural, relatable, and sensitive to their environments. The activities started with a Santa Read-In and a special rendition of The Night Before Christmas, written by an African-American teen author, followed by an oral reading of Santa’s Secret by the African-American author/educator Brittany Harris. Throughout the day, the children were able to engage in interactive activities involving crafts, games, and music.

However, the highlight of the day was when the chapter’s African-American Santa arrived, shaking his bells as he entered. The children were beyond excited to have him in the room. They eagerly awaited their turn to have a special talk with Santa. Snacks were provided to each child as they left along with an African-American elf doll.

Many community officials joined in the fun, and provided happy holiday greetings that filled the room with laughter, love, and a joyful noise that rang out so loud, you might have heard everyone all the way to the North Pole. For a moment, attendees thought they saw the twinkling lights and snowflakes dropping to the ground, along with hearing bells ringing and the sounds of old Saint Nicholas in the background.

With more than 100 guests in attendance, chapter members, along with the first African-American female Mayor of Winslow Township Marie Lawrence , wished children, their families and community members peace, joy, health, and prosperity this holiday season and throughout the coming year. Then with the twinkling of an eye, the day came to an end as “Black Santa” made his way to make additional stops in the area.

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