“My class is multiply handicapped, the students require a lot of one-to-one attention,” Gibson-McGriff explained. “They need a lot of assistance to participate in their classroom activities.”
Last week, her children got a visit from Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman thanks to the efforts of the Jamaica Rotary Club and local NYPD precincts, who also collected more than 250 toys for the kids.
“Today was also a very busy day for us because we are also celebrating Chanukah,” she said. “But they enjoyed seeing Santa and they always give such nice gifts to the children. We are always so appreciative that we have an organization that shows interest in our students.”
Nearly 25 Rotary members and officers from the 112th, 113th and 103rd precincts, brought stuffed animals for more than 160 children at QCP’s Children Center for the 15th consecutive year.
QCP member Mary Anne McAleer first got the Rotary Club involved in the annual event 16 years ago.
“After being a member for about a year, I told them about our children's center and how it would be great if they had the funds to give the kids gifts at Christmas,” McAleer recalled.
The Rotary Club also hosts a barbeque each summer for QCP’s Bellerose Day Services and Residential Program.
“We just try to help people that are in need,” McAleer explained. “This time of year, when somebody doesn’t have food, the Rotary will take whatever funds they have and make sure there is food on the table.”
Nancy Glass, director of children’s services at QCP, said there are a number of community groups that donate their time and services over the holidays, however the visit from the Rotary Club “is a major one.”
“This is the big one,” Glass said. “We have Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. The students also get excited because they get to see a policeman.”
As the group made their way from classroom to classroom delivering gifts, Glass pointed out that the kids aren’t the only ones that take away some holiday spirit.
“The staff looks forward to it because the children really enjoy it,” she said. “It gets us excited to see the children really happy.”