These organizations – the Mayor’s Office, Representative Tony Payton and his office, CORA, Northeast E.P.I.C. Stakeholders Group and CH2MHill worked together to play Santa to deserving children and their families in our area. This early Christmas celebration was held Sunday afternoon at Second Baptist Church, 1801 Meadow Street. Many families filled the hall with excitement and anticipation! Reverend Arthur Robinson, interim Pastor of Second Baptist Church started the proceedings with a prayer ending with a group exclamation of “Amen”! A CH2MHill representative explained that the company cares about Philadelphia, especially its children. It was the Mayor’s Office who connected CORA/Northeast EPIC Stakeholders with CH2MHill to provide these bikes for the kids. If you check our their web page, you will learn that they were chosen as one of the “world’s most ethical companies”. The company’s employees hold fundraisers to support their charitable work. By profession, CH2MHill is an engineering company that builds things that help cities work – such as water plants, highways, etc. There are 140 corporate offices throughout the U.S.
Mayor Nutter, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Olivia, attended the event. The Mayor reminded everyone that we should look after each other 365 days a year but at this time of year it is especially important for those who are able to give to do so. He reminded those who are suffering because of this economy that they are cared about and are not forgotten. Kimberly Washington, a CORA/Northeast EPIC Stakeholders official, called out children’s names as a hushed audience (not easy with toddlers) listened to hear their name. Each child came forward and received a properly fitting bike with a helmet and a picture with Santa, played by our own Rep. Tony Payton. There was a large table filled with toys as well. I met a woman, who is an usher at the Church, whose Marine son had just returned not too long ago from
Afghanistan. He has two young daughters. He and his wife were here to celebrate the season before he ships out again in February. Mom is proud of him and his brother, who is stationed at a base and will be unable to come home for the holidays. She is aware of the danger as her son has told her how their convoys were shot upon constantly and one of the trucks was blown in half. They posed with the Mayor. Events like this help us forget our own troubles and cares for a moment and create happy memories for tomorrow. Christmas is a time for the young and a reminder for us older folks to be young at heart.
It takes many people and teamwork to organize and execute such an event. Not only did the
children receive a bike, helmet and toys but each family received a home cooked meal. These are a few of the faithful Church women who help whenever they are needed.
All involved deserve our thanks and this was a great example of what we can do when we come to work together for the good of others!
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!