This Santa has been bringing joy to the Iris House kids for over 6 years. Santa has been bringing smiles to kids of all ethnicities and origins at Iris House from the day he first walked down the streets of Harlem into our party. I had just told my sister that he gets off the train fully dressed and walks to the party as Santa, greeting kids on the street. I was speechless and devastated when he arrived and I heard this news. I suggested we delay the party so he could call and file a police report.
In true Santa fashion, this man displayed the greatness of the season. He said "No, I'm ready if you are." Santa wouldn't dare disappoint the room full of kids awaiting his arrival. Santa came into the room smiling and waving as he was surrounded by kids jumping up and down, smiling and running to just give him a hug.
These kids, who throughout the year deal with more than many adults would ever experience, could not contain their excitement for the magic of the holiday. They put smiles on Santa's face and filled him with such an innocent joy that only kids could muster. He ensured that kids could keep the magic of Christmas in their hearts and minds when he visited them from the North Pole. Tonight as the room of kids received toys donated from generous people and organizations such as Joe Mannetti, The Gateway School and Euromoney Institutional Investor, enjoyed a party sponsored by the Novis family and received gift cards from High Water Women and Euromoney Institutional Investor, I was reminded that it's not about what you receive but the joy and smiles you put on the face of others.
"It's okay to look back but just don't stare too long". Santa taught us tonight to not stare at the past but to embrace the present.