When caught within the holiday whirlwind – food preparation, gift buying and wrapping, parties and family – it’s all too easy to forget about those who have less than you do. This year, my friend Fin decided to try to make a change, a big change – and spread a bit of the Christmas abundance that many in our community enjoy.
He organized an AMAZING event, in large part with his friends and many, many supporters but also with the assistance of the relatively new “Raise Me Up” foundation in San Pedro. And TONS of his own hard work.
The goal? Feed people and families in need a Christmas lunch that could be proudly presented on any table in the country – including the Prime Ministers – and just have a fun celebration for those who would truly enjoy it.
Money, food, time, gifts were all donated by the community – I’ll list some of the participants at the end of my post. But take a look at the amazing event one San Pedrano was able to put together by having a simple but big idea – a Christmas “Soup Kitchen” – and by working super hard.
And maybe this is something we can do all the time. I know Fin K is planning his next one in the coming months. There is talk of mac & cheese and fried chicken. Giving year round rather than just during “holidays and hurricanes”…
Set up began early at the new “Raise Me Up” building in town…
Findley and his dad were there putting up the tables and decorations.
And food started arriving by the cart load. Gorgeous donated desserts…
He was taking his position as organizer quite seriously and smacked my hand more than once.
But I love those jelly thumb print ones!
More friends and family and businesses stopped by to drop off turkeys and hams and food…
Jeff from Rojo/Azul was taking a day off from his kitchen to work in this one…
Box loads of toys and blankets – Wings Store in San Pedro was INCREDIBLY generous donating toys for over 100 kids.
Participants had received tickets from “Raise Me Up” and all children had toys waiting for them. This organization was no small feat. Go Fin!
There is no party in Belize that doesn’t start with cheese dip.
In or around the mouth.
And then the beautiful plates of food. Melody and many others helping out.
In almost all cases enough to wrap up and take home for later.
Banana Bread for all. NO ONE was leaving hungry from this event.
I would so NEVER pick favorites when it comes to children – but this little girl who is blind is a TOTAL sweetheart.
Making the snow man wave to me was endlessly amusing to both of us.
FINALLY I was allowed a cupcake. And went right for these…
Who doesn’t love cupcakes?
AND there was more left over. Not the dinner but toys and cupcakes and cookies. Fin and his dad helped wrap everything up. And drove to the San Mateo neighborhood to deliver more cheer.
I’m super proud of you Fin Kardashian.
And THANK YOU to all of the amazing sponsors…those who donated food and money and help. Here are some…I’ll refine the list as I get more information. Raise Me Up. Fido’s Restaurant, Portofino Resort, Rojo Beach Bar and Azul Resort, Carumba’s Restaurant, Elvi’s Kitchen, Wing’s Store for donating SO MANY TOYS and making this lunch into something even bigger and better…
…Maya and Colette of Conch Creative Photography, The Bakery and Lynn Kier, Kelly and Mukul of Blue Water Grill, The Phoenix and more, Casa Picasso Restaurant, Larry Harmon, Ruby Eiley, Wild Mango’s Restaurant, Piper Sheffield, The San Pedro Sun Newspaper, Jean Seruntine, Annie’s Pastries…
For information how you can help Raise Me Up, check out their facebook page above. And to find out how you can support businesses that support our community…or to just stop by and say “thank you”, refer to the list above.
Merry Christmas everyone. What a great way to spend it.