The christmas journey

Who didn’t like fairytales as a child?

Especially New Year fairy tales, with bright lights on the Christmas tree and favorite characters, when the plot is so exciting that for a while you lose all sense of reality and feel yourself slipping into the skin of one of the heroes experiencing the adventures of these much-loved tales. Then comes a happy ending, followed again by reality—sometimes not as joyful and exciting as in the story that just ended. Indeed, reality is far from fabulous for children with special needs and their parents. Their harsh everyday life is so burdened with despondency and hopelessness that sometimes it seems that their last forces are abated…. And that is when they really need support, at least with a kind word and a tender glance.

But there are people in our city who are not limited only to words, but also in fact give attention to these precious ones and try to bring elements of celebration and a sense of joy into the lives of these special families. Among those who are not indifferent to someone else’s misfortune are the owners of the organizations “Council for Cross Cultural Affairs” and “Russian American Media”; the limousine company, “Baylight Limousine & Private Transportation”; “SIV Transport”; and the popular widescreen cinema in downtown Sacramento, “Esquire IMAX Movie Theater”. These companies have organized an opportunity for families and their children with special needs to participate in a fairy tale, which we call The Christmas Journey.

Exceptional limousines and super comfortable limo-buses were provided for us, on which most of us had traveled before; however, this was a new experience for some of the participating families. All 250 passengers immediately felt a surge of excitement as we took our seats and began the magical journey. These elegant cars moved so smoothly and gently as if they knew that there was a precious cargo on board which must be handled with great care.

The first attraction on our journey was the cinema in downtown Sacramento, “Esquire IMAX Movie Theater”. We all got out of our cars and met fairy-tale heroes: Santa Claus, a beauty in a fancy Christmas tree costume, a princess, and other widely known beloved characters from childhood! Everyone tried to take pictures and chat with them. In the foyer of the cinema, we were all offered drinks and bags of popcorn. The hall of this cinema is very cozy and comfortable; thus, all children and adults were accommodated in it and eagerly looked forward to starting the session. The whole hall gladly welcomed all the organizers of this event, and after the announcement to tell everyone to not forget to receive their gift after the session, the cartoon, “The Grinch”, began. The theme of this cartoon reveals once again the well-known truth that kindness can change hearts and help one forgive long-standing and even very serious grievances. After the movie ended, all the children received gift cards to purchase a gift of their own choosing, according to their each individual wishes!

And then we were back on the street where our transportation was waiting for us which would take us through the gorgeously decorated streets of our city!

And here we found ourselves at our final destination: a shining street where every house is decorated so uniquely and magnificently with twinkling lights flashing to the beat of Christmas music, fairy-tale characters appearing suddenly, seeming to wave at each passerby, decorated Christmas trees sparkling with all the colors of the rainbow, covered with a variety of festive light bulbs, stars, and ornaments … all this caused indescribable delight to all—not only to the little passengers!

The festive program included riding in comfortable limousines and limo-busses along gorgeously decorated streets, visiting the cinema with a huge screen, “Esquire IMAX Movie Theater”, in downtown Sacramento, watching a New Year’s children’s movie, and of course, the giving of gifts to each child.

It was a wonderful evening! No one wanted to say goodbye, and the celebration spirit and warm friendly communication will stay in our hearts for a long time.

Parents have shared their own and their children’s impressions:

“A stunning holiday was organized for us! Thank you all who gave us the opportunity to have a great time together!!!”

~ Elena

“I also want to say a hearty thank you to everyone for a wonderful evening! The children were delighted! May the Lord bless you!”

~ Maria Kolpakchi

Yes, thank you very much!!! I don ‘t even know who was more excited about everything: me or my boys!!! And a limo and big buses, and a cool movie theater and popcorn, and the gifts at the end, and the lights – so much more!!! May God bless the organizers and reward them 100 times!!!

And it was also nice to see friends, acquaintances. Their children have grown up so much already!!!

~ Tatiana Kuzminchuk

I wanted to thank God and you, those who organized this evening. Once again, it was a wonderful evening with joyful emotions and a great mood!!

~ Ksenia

Thank you very much to everyone for the holiday. Our children are delighted. They have brought so many impressions. They’re constantly talking only about the holiday. Unfortunately, we could not visit; we were at home with Maria.

~ Victoria

From our family, words of great gratitude to all the organizers of this event!! Thank you for the holiday for children and for parents!!

~ Elena

With such wonderful impressions, we returned to West Sacramento from where our journey began. Christmas is a special time when all of us can once again be filled with the understanding of God’s love for fallen humanity, who has given salvation from sins and everlasting destruction through Jesus Christ, God’s Son, born as a baby on Christmas Day! How great it is that Christmas encourages many people to do good to others, and especially to those who cannot reciprocate because of their special needs.

In conclusion, I would like to wish all the organizers of the charity evening blessings and prosperity in their work. May your kind hearts also be filled with happiness and joy these Christmas days!

Many thanks to Dr. Inna Karakai, Grigory Tovmasyan, Roman July, Elizaveta Cherniyenko, Olga Petrovskaya, Inna Stiblina, and Svetlana Mishchenko, as well as to all the volunteers and contributors who helped organize this holiday for children “with special needs”. These children came into this world with various diagnoses: autistic disorder, Down’s syndrome, infantile cerebral paralysis, and others, but despite this, they are able to be glad, show gratitude, understand and appreciate every soft glance, attention and kindness shown to them.

A wonderful beginning of activity is to do good to one’s neighbor!

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