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When in Aruba, Care for Aruba! Celebrating the Joy of the Season at Imeldahof

charity aruba

By Tina Causey-Bislick

The team at When in Aruba organized a holiday celebration for the kids at Imeldahof under the community initiative When in Aruba, Care for Aruba!  We have a special place in our hearts for the young residents of this home, getting to know many of them during our last celebration with the kids over the Easter holiday.

Once again, we were joined by part-time Aruba resident Neely Cosentino, who has been coming to the island since she was a child and has nurtured great friendships and a deep fondness for the community here.  Local businesswoman Carla Cavallaro, owner of the famed Jolly Pirates fleet of high-seas fun (and the biggest Christmas fanatic that we know), and Neely took charge of the wish list of the kids, purchasing the gifts in the U.S and coordinating their transport to Aruba.  Several When in Aruba readers living in the U.S. (thank you, Mitch and Maxine Karlicks, Alec Friedman, and Judy Duncan) also volunteered to carry some of the gifts in their luggage on recent trips to the island.  Do It Center graciously provided beautiful gift wrap and accessories and even lent us their wrapping table to assist us in efficiently wrapping all the gifts.

art on aruba
art on aruba
art aruba

During the party held last week, local artists Suelyn Dankerlui and Maja Lepsanovic got a little crafty with the kids, helping them paint their own ornaments for the home’s tree.

Aruba holidays

While the kids took turns painting, DJ Sky was spinning tunes and keeping the kids busy on the dance floor.  Surprising the kids were local singing legend Janiro “Ataniro” Eisden and two up-and-coming performers, Wichi and Ty, who entertained the kids.

music in aruba
Karaoke Bus Aruba

And the excitement kept coming, as it was “all aboard” on Aruba’s one-and-only Karaoke Bus, with Giovanni Trim in the driver’s seat taking the kids for a spin and some sing-along fun.

bakeries aruba

Upon their return, Domino’s Pizza had a feast waiting for the kids, while Bright Bakery donated festive cupcakes and local distributor Manrique Caprilles donated juices.

The evening finished with the kids opening up their presents—from Baby Alive to remote control cars—as well as gift bags of toiletries donated by Op=Op and Manrique Caprilles.

shopping aruba

Thank you again to all the local and international individuals and businesses that took the time to help us share a little holiday joy with those in need!  A special shout-out goes to Joycelyn Franken and Diann Nakash, who lent their efforts to help wrap all the presents and help us set up and oversee the party, and Michael Bislick and Carlos Bermudez for their help before, during, and after the event.

About Imeldahof: The objective of the children’s home is to offer a temporary home and guidance for children who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to remain in their own homes. In most cases, this is until placement with their own family or relatives or a foster family can be found.