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Published on : Tuesday, December 22, 2015
More than 8,000 children had something to celebrate this holiday season because of the 19th annual FCCA Foundation Holiday Gift Project. Today in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic-one of the record 40 participating destinations-crew and destination representatives joined for the last time this year to celebrate the most rewarding project to date and, of course, the children’s happiness as they received presents and enjoyed a holiday party.
The FCCA Foundation contributed gifts selected for age groups and genders specified by the destinations. Then Member Lines loaded the presents onboard their vessels and served as a sleigh to bring the presents to partnering destinations, where destination representatives who coordinated on-land festivities waited with the children as Santa himself arrived to celebrate with the children while giving presents and smiles.
“We are pleased of the good work that the FCCA Foundation has done with the Holiday Gift Project,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA. “It’s important to take care of children in need, and it’s gratifying to see the Foundation continue to grow and partner with charities who have children counting on them for some holiday cheer.”
“The FCCA Holiday Gift Project brings happiness to children who truly deserve it,” told Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “The cruise industry is proud to give back to the communities of the destinations we call, and I cannot think of a more rewarding way than bringing cheer and aid to children who need it.”
The spirit and cheer extended past the children; all of those involved exemplified it and realized the project’s importance, knowing the children probably would not receive toys and smiles otherwise.
“Being a part of the Belize [Holiday Gift Project] allowed me to experience what it is to make a life by what we give,” said Sherryl Bacayo, training specialist on Norwegian Jewel. “It was such a great joy to see smiles on those lovely little ones. I felt the true spirit of Christmas.”
“You could see the happiness and excitement on the kid’s faces as the boxes of toys were offloaded and Santa Claus came to their school,” told Dorothy Dorado, youth director, Carnival Liberty. “It felt so good to see the kids jumping and screaming when they see us coming. We left the school with tears in our eyes.”
Participating destinations included Antigua; Aruba; Belize City, Belize; Bonaire; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Cartagena, Colombia; Coco Cay, Bahamas; Colon, Panama; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; Curacao; Dominica; Ensenada, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Freeport, Bahamas; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Harvest Caye, Belize; Labadee, Haiti; Limon, Costa Rica; Martinique; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Princess Cays, Bahamas; Progreso, Mexico; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Roatan, Honduras; Samana, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Croix and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Kitts; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Turks & Caicos.
Participating FCCA Member Lines included Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.