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Dec 20, 2017

Christmas party time at Lawrence Avenue and Princess…

As the clock ticks to the celebration of Christmas, across the country many are sharing the Spirit of Christmas with underprivileged children and their families with the gift of giving. In the city today, two corporate citizens in the north and south sides ushered in the festive season for hundreds of children. News Five’s Isani Cayetano and cameraman Kenroy Michael captured their happy faces.   

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Christmas is for the children, as much as it is a time for caring and sharing.  The annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ is both a religious and a cultural celebration among billions of people the world over.  It is also a time for giving.  And that’s just what several individuals, businesses and organizations are busy doing.  This afternoon in Lake Independence, as many as two hundred and fifty children from the community are gathered at the far end of Lawrence Avenue for an annual party hosted by contractor James Young.  He’s been throwing Christmas parties for kids in this neighborhood since 2010.

 

James Young

James Young, Proprietor, Lakers Mini-Mart

“What we are doing is just to give back to the community.  We’ve been doing this for seven years and going.  We’d like to do it as much as we can, as much more as we can.”

 

It’s a once-a-year social gathering for children that is very much anticipated by the young and the old.  Belizean/American visitor Glenda Trapp-Johnson makes the annual trip home just for this occasion.  It’s her means of giving back as well.

 

Glenda Trapp-Johnson

, Sponsor

“I really enjoy giving to the kids and I enjoy seeing the kids being happy.  I’m from Belize, myself, and I left from here when I was seventeen-years-old, so it’s like a big thing for me to be able to be a part of this.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How does this help you to build that Christmas spirit within yourself?”

 

Glenda Trapp-Johnson

“This is my Christmas gift right here.  Being here and serving the kids and seeing them so happy is all I ask for.”

 

The purpose, according to Young, is to encourage selflessness.

 

James Young

“What I would like to put out there is for people who could really put out more to help the kids them, you know, to have a nice time.  There’s a lot of kids out here that really need help, especially in Lake-I.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now in terms of the number of kids who are out here today, for instance, how many kids are you catering to during this party?”

 

James Young

“Well every year we cater for about three-fifty to five hundred kids, every year.  Right now the ticket is close to three hundred right now, but I’m sure there’s more that will come out today.”

 

Across town earlier today, the same kind of altruism was being shown to a group of underprivileged kids who were invited to the Princess Cinema to enjoy a Christmas movie on the house.

 

Shelene Wilson

Shelene Wilson, Ramada Princess Hotel & Casino

“The Ramada Hotel, Princess, we have always been giving back to the community and this is definitely a pleasant way to give back to these underprivileged kids and this is going to be our fourth consecutive year in doing that.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now I understand that tickets and popcorn are being given away for these kids to come and enjoy the theater experience.  Can you speak to us a bit about that?”

 

Shelene Wilson

“Well yes, I mean it’s a lot of work behind the scenes, starting from the cinema itself, but again, we always look at the bright side of things in these regard.  So these kids today, they had a positive countenance displayed on their faces and that lets us know that we did good in giving back to them and that warms our hearts as well.”

 

The idea of having these kids experience the joy of the season through cinema is credited to Suzette Mossiah.  She is the pastor at Merirh’s Christian Ministry.

 

Apostle Suzette Mossiah

Apostle Suzette Mossiah, Pastor, Merirh’s Christian Ministry

“I’ve been doing it now, this year makes ten years since I’ve been doing it and it has grown over the years.  It has been a struggle but thank God, he has given us the support that we can be able to feed these kids.  Like I said, we started with nine and now it’s sixty kids we have in our feeding program, and not only that, we interact with, we let the kids interact with the elderly.  We would go to the elderly home, prepare things and the kids would go there and share with them.  What I want these kids to know is not about receiving, it’s giving back. “

 

It’s a Christmas spirit that continues to endure among Belizeans at home and abroad, religious or secular.  It’s a time to give.

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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