Thank You For Making This Holiday Season Merry and Bright!

No child dreams of spending the holidays in a homeless shelter — yet far too many of our city’s kids will do just that. Every child deserves to feel the magic of this joyous season, so last week, the Coalition held its annual Holiday Carnival for Kids for more than 100 girls and boys from eight different NYC homeless shelters.

As they entered the festively decorated room, the kids were greeted by their favorite characters from Frozen and The Avengers — and then excitedly peeked into their gift bags to find cookies, activity books, toys and scarves. As the party ramped up, the girls and boys played carnival games, got their faces painted like superheroes and snow princesses, and watched volunteers from Xmental Inc. draw their names in a vibrant graffiti style onto pieces of personalized art they could take back with them. Their gleeful laughter was louder than the DJ’s music as they ran, played and danced. After a delicious lunch and colorful cupcakes, the kids were treated to an extra special visit from Santa Claus himself.

This year’s successful Toy Drive and Holiday Carnival would not have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors, partners, donors and volunteers. We’d especially like to recognize our hosts — the United Federation of Teachers — as well as AIG, Edelman, Citibabes, Nike, JCC Manhattan, Xmental Inc., and Christy Burke and friends for being this year’s partners and volunteers!

We have already distributed more than 7,000 toys — and more are coming in every day! We cannot thank you enough for filling our office with dolls, basketballs, skateboards, action figures, books and more, which will help spread the joy of the holidays to homeless children throughout the city.