“Not even COVID concerns could stop Santa from coming to Coral Bay this year in many forms. Our holiday traditions surrounding Christmas time are about sharing, caring and togetherness,” said Sharon Coldren, president of the Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC), the local nonprofit agency, talking about the several ways the CBCC worked with community members to be sure Santa came to spread joy to children and families, especially those facing hard times right now.
Since the usual Christmas Carole Sing could not be held, the Coral Bay Community Council was not able to provide the annual in-person greetings from Santa to give presents to the kids.
“So, planning ahead, we did the next best thing; we asked Coral Bay parents to let us know what their children would like for Christmas up to $50. We then asked our members and supporters if anyone would like to play Santa to a child from Coral Bay? The ‘Santas’ responded and CBCC gave each one a child’s Christmas list, and before we knew it, the packages started pouring in, and Santa’s elves got everything here by Christmas Eve just in time for Santa to deliver!” said Michelle Bransom.
She was the CBCC office manager who took the reins by keeping track of all the incoming presents and made sure no child was left out. She had the joy of calling each parent to pick up the gifts and see the happy and grateful smiles on their faces, even while wearing a mask.
Also, since people could not get together, Dawn, the new owner of Pickles, bought in St. Thomas and then donated large frozen turkeys, hams and children’s gifts that the fabulous group of volunteers delivered to 52 families including over 70 children on Dec. 22 to share holiday joy, thanks to Donna Roberts, Lucia Francis, Dr. Bob, Nicey, Jaquoi… and, of course, Dawn.
Together people care for each other, even when they can only do virtual hugs. Merry Christmas!
Members of Romeo Company Squad D, led by Corporal Maduro, served as Santa’s transportation to ride around Coral Bay sharing the holiday spirit on the evening of Dec. 23.