by Gracie Barney, Community Relations Specialist
Northside CYO was filled with dancing, joy, laughter and the true spirit of Christmas this past Wednesday for their annual holiday party. Nearly 40 children ages five to sixteen joined in a celebration of Christmas with some special guests; The Baldwin Family.
Daniel Baldwin, with his two young daughters and sister, Beth wanted to donate their Christmas to Northside CYO in a new Christmas tradition. Daniel expressed his desire to give back and share his giving spirit.
The evening began with wreath and cookie decorating facilitated by staff. The main floor of CYO quickly became a dance floor where children began performing routines learned from music videos. Daniel and his two daughters jumped in and many of the children began teaching them routines. The dancing paused momentarily for pizza and doughnuts from Harrison Bakery.
As the nearly 40 children gathered to share food, the Baldwin family began bringing in presents. The room became quieter as children waited patiently for gifts. Children began shouting thank you, merry christmas and showing of their new gifts to friends and staff alike. For many of the children this was their first Christmas in the United States. Many of them fleeing from war torn countries such as the Congo. The Baldwin’s generosity was a perfect welcome to their new home.
Gloria, the youngest child in attendance at 5 years old, had asked for a winter coat as one of her gifts. Once she received her first present, needing assistance from the older children with the unwrapping, she saw a bright pink winter coat. Her face lit up with pure joy as she hugged her new coat tightly. She immediately put on her new coat and proudly modeled with twirls and hands on her hips. This was just one example of the happiness created!
We are deeply grateful to the hard-working staff and volunteers who made CYO’s holiday party possible. Special thank you to Daniel, his daughters, and the Baldwin family for their time and generosity. From all of us at Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, we wish you and yours all the joys of the holiday season!