More than 300 children had the most amazing treat on Dec. 23, playing musical chairs, dancing to Caribbean music, and filling their goody bags, thanks to Brooklyn-based Guyanese couple Brian and Pauline Clarke, and Georgia-based Rev. Archbishop, Dr. Mavis Nurse, who hosted their 40th Annual Christmas party in Georgetown, Guyana to celebrate the season.
Rev. Nurse was happy to share the joy she felt being a part of such a meaningful endeavor, which began in her mother’s yard in Lodge Village, with just 25 children.
But as word spread, the crowd, increased over the years and this year, scores of boys and girls, in their Sunday best, queued up hours ahead of party time, for toys, books, school items, and even clothing donated, by friends who made several other donations to the humanitarian cause.
“I thank God we have the privilege of coming back home to Guyana to carry on this celebration for the children every year, and to me, it’s getting bigger and bigger, with more gifts, and friends who gave of their time,” said Rev. Nurse, sister of Pauline Clarke, who resides in Georgia, and makes the yearly trip, to give back to her village of birth.
The humanitarian said, she looks forward to continuing the charitable effort, and plans to bring along her other siblings to participate, in Christmas 2020 giving.
“We are working on continuing this tradition, because when you look at how the little faces of the children light-up when they receive a gift, you know then and there it’s a blessing, to give. You know you have done something good for a child, said Rev. Nurse, who is the head of a congregation in Georgia.
“The beauty of the event this year, is, the kids had a trampoline, to jump and play on. That was fantastic,” she said, noting also, that many more volunteers, local and overseas have helped, to make the gift-giving day of fun, seamless.
“It is great when we can all come together and do something to help children, said Rev. Nurse.
Brian Clarke is grateful that the Christmas celebration, started by mother-in-law, continued, continued to flourish after she (mother-in-law) passed on.
The children’s Christmas party started with 13 girls and 12 boys. “Today, the party has close to 400 children in attendance. It is a great achievement. It gives you that feeling, that we can’t miss a year. It feels wonderful, when it’s done, because of that uplifting feeling that you have within you,” said Clarke.
“I really love hosting the party, regardless of how tiresome it is, or how fatiguing it is. I will continue to serve the kids,” said Clarke
During more than five hours of fun, servings of ice cream, refreshments, and gift handout, the trio knows for sure, that the children will keep coming every year, and they will be there to ensure they have a great time, and leave with gifts.