Santa will be arriving a few days early in Louisville this year for —on a fire truck. He and Mrs. Claus will be stopping by the American Red Cross Louisville Chapter building to greet children and pass out presents for the 29th Annual Holiday Party.
The party is held every year for Kentuckiana children whose homes have been lost or d to fires. The auditorium is decorated with snowflakes and garland and turned into a winter wonderland. The room where we host is turned into a welcome area, where kids and their families can enjoy pizza, games, and crafts: the only reindeer might be ones the kids make out of candy canes, but the magic is no less real when the kids head upstairs to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus and receive their presents.
The people who work behind the scenes work their own kind of magic to make sure that everything runs smoothly during the festivities. The fire engine Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on is provided by the Louisville Professional Firefighters Union Local 345, which sponsors the party every year . The party itself would not come together every year without the work of Kim Jackson, who works in disaster services, and her team of 30 volunteers.
Kim and her team are the ones who decorate the auditorium and organize the presents the kids will receive at the party. They spend a morning with before the party, shopping for gifts for children, and then spend the afternoon sorting through all of them so that each child will have a bag of toys when Santa arrives. Once the party is in full swing, the volunteers are busy helping the children with crafts, painting faces, guiding them upstairs, and helping families take their gifts back to their cars when the party ends.