Saturday, December 14, the American Red Cross, in conjunction with the Hard Rock Cafe, held its annual “Winter Wonderland” holiday party for Greater New York families with young children, all of whom recently lost their homes to a fire.
From 8 am to 11 am, nearly 100 families came out to the Hard Rock Café in Times Square for food, games, face painting, music, celebrity guests, as well as gift bags for all of the children.
“The thought of coping with the holidays after having recently suffered a tremendous loss like this can be daunting,” said Josh Lockwood, Greater NY Red Cross CEO.
“The hope is that we can help lift their spirits during this difficult time.”
One resident in attendance was Zekima Armstrong, who lost her Brooklyn home to an electrical fire.
"The fire happened when I was at work,” she said, “I pretty much lost everything.”
Armstrong brought her 12-year-old son to Saturday’s event.
“Today is so fun,” Armstrong said. “I always had Christmas at my house, so now I have to go somewhere else. This brought the Christmas spirit back!”
So far this year, the Greater New York Red Cross has responded to nearly 2,200 local disasters, mostly home fires. Sadly, during the winter months, the Red Cross sees a spike in the number of fires and other incidents, with more residents in need of its services.
At every incident, Red Cross disaster responders, most of them volunteers, are on scene to provide humanitarian relief to those affected: emergency housing, funds for basic necessities like food and clothing, blankets, emotional support and health services support.
The Red Cross thanks its partners who supported the Winter Wonderland event: the Hard Rock Café, the WWE, the New York Knicks, Zurich, Brooks Brothers and Justin's Children Store.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.