PRESS RELEASE- Children of All Ages Celebrate Christmas with a Visit from Santa

Orange, NJ – December 20, 2017 – Kylie Dunell may only be six years old and barely three feet tall, but she is a little girl with big ambitions. When asked what she wanted for Christmas at the annual Visit with Santa, hosted by the Housing Authority of the City of Orange, December 20, she didn’t hesitate. “I want an I-phone,” she stated, much to the surprise of her mother.

Dunell was one of dozens of children who greeted Santa with a cheer, lining up to eagerly to give him their wish list. I-Phones seem to be a popular item among six years old. Madison Bethea wanted one, too.

For the rest of the crowd, the requests were as varied as the individuals asking for them. Isa Smith, seven, plans to take to the road on a skateboard and a hoverboard, while nine-year-old Karisma Taylor wants a coloring book and a car for her Barbie dolls. Three-year-old Mya Hairston is getting ready to read with a new book from Santa. Clasia Ali, four years old, requested a toy house as big as she is, and her brother, Tahir, wants the Kalisto wrestling figure.  The Boyd family will need a big tree this year to fit ten-year-old Iniyah’s Easy Bake Oven, Barbie Dream House, and all the Monster High characters. Lashon Smith, 11, is ready to move on to more sophisticated gifts. He asked for a tape recorder.

This Annual Christmas Party is more than an opportunity for children to voice their wishes. The event brings together neighbors in the housing authority to celebrate the holiday. Residents worked with the housing staff to set up, organize activities, and clean up afterwards. The party is a community event, enjoyed by children of all ages.

The party was a labor of love for Peggy Wade, Acting Program Director of Section 8 Housing. “This I something I look forward to every year. It is not about the gifts. It is about the children and bringing smiles to their faces.                                      

Tables were set with festive decorations, waiting for families to arrive. While anticipating Santa, the children kept busy building a gingerbread house and having their faces painted by the Orange Housing Authority’s Public Housing Assistant Housing Manager Cristina Mateo who pulled double duty from her day job.

After seeing Santa and posing for a picture, the children enjoyed some of their favorite foods, pizza, chicken nuggets, and French fries.

About the Orange Housing Authority

The City of Orange Housing Authority works to transform the City of Orange by providing safe, livable and affordable housing that promotes the development of communities. At the Orange Housing Authority, participants are not statistics, they are neighbors. The OHA knows the community and designs programs  and initiatives to better service the participant’s needs. Whether it is a search for housing, assistance with foreclosure, or neighborhood development, the Orange Housing Authority stands ready to offer its services to all residents.