By Devon Johnson, Contributing Writer
Devon Johnson is a new contributing writer for Community Arts NYC. Devon grew up in Brooklyn in NYCHA’s Marcy Development, and is one of our New York based writers. Check out his introductory post here.
Today is a day of celebration for NYCHA and its Community as a whole. This week I had the privilege of attending NYCHA’s “Season of Sharing 22nd Annual Holiday Food and Toy Drive.” Equipped with several can goods and a toy I arrived at the Manhattenville community center(address) to find about a dozen school busses (double parked) in the streets of Harlem. When I walked in the community center there was a BIG tree next to the front door, it was almost like it greeted me! Christmas decor was everywhere in the community center.
All of the rooms where filled with various activities, in one room they had an African Kwanza dance show another room there was an arts and crafts class, and all the rooms were filled with exciting activities for the kids of NYCHA. Downstairs seem to be where the real fun began; the entire gym was filled with hundreds of kids and a couple dozen NYCHA staff members. I saw gift bags, hot dogs, and several popcorn machines… they had a night full of fun with performances’ from the NYCHA youth and senior chorus. (If you are interested in seeing more of the chorus here is a link I found on youtube of the NYCHA youth chorus Live United Bridge Walk 2012 ~NYCHA YOUTH CHORUS PERFORMANCE~.)
This is visually a huge event and has some major sponsors including Radio Disney, Health First and City Harvest. The holiday drive event caters to roughly 600 NYCHA children throughout multiple Developments. I have to say all of the children (including me) had wonderfully delighted smiles on their faces. You can tell NYCHA has been doing this for some time as the event was planned and organized well. It actually turned out to be the highlight of my day as well as all the other kids, both big and small. To help you share the day I want to leave you with some sounds from both the NYCHA Youth and Senior Choir:
ENJOY, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!