The spirit of the holiday was felt across the city as people came together to celebrate Christmas with food, family, friends and good cheer. There was also a sense of giving back as many people in the Tri-State spent the day volunteering their time to help others. Here is a rundown of some Christmas highlights from around the area.
Christmas at the National Action Network
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) hosts its annual Christmas event at its House of Justice headquarters in Harlem on Christmas Day. NAN is feeding the community and giving out toys to children. Local elected officials and community leaders will also be on hand. NAN also distributed turkeys to local families at an event on Dec. 14.
S.W. Roseburgh and Richard St. Paul host holiday toy drive
S.W. Roseburgh and Richard St. Paul hosted their 8th Annual Holiday Toy Drive featuring an Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 13 at The Brownstone in Harlem. This year several elected officials participated in the event including State Sen. Brian Benjamin, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Council Member Bill Perkins and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Toys collected at the event were given to children who reside in the Wagner NYCHA Development, STRIVE-New York and victims in affected areas of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Common, Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy feed the homeless
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, rapper Common, Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy of Power 105 FM’s Breakfast Club, and other special guests partnered to host a community dinner to feed more than 300 homeless people on Dec. 17 at Weequahic High School. The event was a partnership with the Homeless Coalition that also include health screenings, entertainment, and giveaways for attendees. Baraka also hosted a toy giveaway on Dec. 19 at John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. Newark partnered with the New Jersey Devils to collect and donate new unwrapped toys youth aged 12 and under.
Interfaith Medical Center hosts Winter Wonderland celebration
Interfaith Medical Center celebrated the holiday season with their annual Winter Wonderland celebration. Children from surrounding schools and daycare centers gathered to take part in the season’s festivities, and meet Santa on December 15. Each child left Winter Wonderland with a gift and a commemorative photo with Santa. A second holiday season event was hosted on December 19. During this event, the hospital distributed 300 gift cards to families from the surrounding area.