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Kids & Education

13th Annual Operation Christmas Smiles Brings Holiday Cheer to Brooklyn

Christmas came early for over 500 Brooklyn children.

Thanks to Reaching-Out Community Services, it was all smiles for less fortunate children just in time for the holidays.

On Sat., Dec. 15, the non-profit organization held its 13th annual Operation Christmas Smiles at St. Mary Mother of Jesus Lower Church Community Center, 2311 85th Street, complete with a 27-character show, face painting, magic show, many arcade games, coloring station and refreshments, plus gifts for all the children.

Founder of Reaching-Out Tom Neve deemed this year’s event another success.

“It went wonderfully,” he said. “Everyone had a great time. It was another great event, thank God.

“Seeing the kids enjoy the event was just phenomenal,” Neve went on. “The whole show was just great, a Broadway type of thing. It amazes the adults just as much as the children. It just worked out wonderfully.”

Neve also thanked volunteers, who stepped up at the last minute.

“We had a couple of key clubs from certain schools come,” he said. “Another organization came in from another state — they were here visiting — so we are thankful for them. At the last minute, we had a nice crowd of students.”

He was also thankful for the sponsors.

“We are an anti-hunger organization so if it weren’t for all the sponsors and volunteers, it wouldn’t happen,” he said, mentioning the Rotary Club of Verrazano. “I applaud them. That’s teamwork.”

And, the fun’s not over. To accommodate more children, on Sat., Dec. 22, Reaching-Out will host its 13th annual Santa on Wheels event which entails visiting public housing and a women and children’s shelter. The children will meet with Santa and a group of characters, and receive toys and refreshments.

For more information, visit rcsprograms.org.

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