Spread the Joy: An Annual Drive to Bring the Holidays to Haiti’s Children.
Throughout the fall, Sow a Seed launches the Spread the Joy Challenge, an annual drive raising funds for the holidays season.
Every year we host a form of holiday events for the children we serve and orphanages we support from holiday festivals to food and toy distributions. Our last holiday season in 2020, although we could not plan for a festive event, we only focused on a smaller scale, social distancing food and toy distributions to orphanages.
Our first holiday event was held on December 10, 2011. With the help of over 250 volunteers we hosted our first annual Santa’s Wonderland; a full day event providing underserved orphanages and children with a cheerful fun filled day celebration embracing the holidays while lifting their spirits. We provided roundtrip transportation for all participating children to attend the event.
The usual itinerary of Santa’s Wonderland fills up the entire day — children tap into their creativity at the arts and crafts stations, learn hip-hop moves in our dance clinic, listen to the latest songs performed live by Haiti’s top stars, and indulge in delicious treats at the gingerbread houses and candyland. Closing the day’s events is a meet and greet with Santa and his elves for a toy and food kit distribution. Here’s an example of a Santa’s Wonderland agenda:
SANTA’S WONDERLAND – DECEMBER
SANTA’S WORKSHOP & TOY SHOP
Children learn the concept of giving by crafting a gift for other children and create ornaments to present at Santa’s Forest.
At Santa’s Toy Shop, photographers line up the children for a meet and greet photo session with Santa.
Children walk through a candy cane forest leading up to a life-size, gingerbread house decorated with edible candy which the children may walk inside and grab candies as they wish. Inside, cupcake and candy stations are available for added treats.
At the end of the activities, children group together surrounding a stage led with magician acts and music performances by their favorites local music stars. Mikaben, J-perry, Wanito and more great artists animate the event and raise the energy level of all.
Groups of children jam and test their musical skills while learning how to use various instruments with local artists. Dance Workshop, hosted by Dance for Life, provide sessions teaching children many steps popular in folklore and hip-hop dance.
Children play freely in an amusement theme park atmosphere with slides, clowns and games. Cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn and other festival food treats flow freely.
A dazzling tree-lighting ceremony seals the night, showcasing various trees decorated earlier by these children. Santa and his elves also make an appearance to distribute toys before taking off on the sleigh.
The next day, Sow a Seed provides the children with one more surprise.Volunteers deliver one fully decorated tree to each of the participating orphanages in order to mark the occasion.
SPRING EGGSTRAVAGANZA – MARCH/APRIL
Spring heralds the return of the sun’s warmth, the rebirth, renewal of life and the revival of green and colors everywhere.
Spring Eggstravaganza celebrates the promise of new possibilities and the fertility of spring – a day of fun filled activities where children of our supported orphanages and underserved communities can hop hunt and find new hope.
Easter Egg hunts, colorful face painting, outdoor picnics, activities and games are on the agenda. The easter rabbit makes an appearance to help us welcome the season. Local star musician uplift the atmosphere with musical performances for the children.