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2014 Holiday Assist Party Brings Cheer and Joy

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

Every year, Sharks players, coaches, owners and front office staff work together to make a difference in our community by hosting local families for a holiday celebration. On December 16, shrieks of joy were heard and bright smiles could be seen all around Sharks Ice in San Jose from children and adults alike as the families enjoyed a stress-free evening celebrating the season with some of their favorite celebrities.

Working in collaboration with Susie Aldrich and the Healthy Start Family Resource Center, 40 families were identified as ones who despite their hard work all year, still happen to come up short during the holidays. The Sharks organization uses this unique opportunity to make a big difference in the lives of these families by providing gifts for the holidays.

Each “Assister” receives a wish-list from each family to help understand the family’s circumstance and needs. Many of the children request simple items such as warm clothes or school supplies while the parents are also in need of basic needs, such as a toaster or microwave, to efficiently run their household. While shopping for the families ranging from two people up to a family of eight, it becomes clear how quickly the average person can take for granted all they have during the holidays and how much we can make a difference by contributing these gifts.

In an effort to distribute the gifts and bring the families together, the Sharks Foundation and the Healthy Start Resource Center host a party with the help of many local community partners. The Wender Weis Foundation, the Good Tidings Foundation, Sharks Ice at San Jose, California Pizza Kitchen, Yogurtland and Kaiser Permanente all contributed monetarily, in-kind or in-service to create a magical holiday experience that many of these families did not plan on having for themselves. The children enjoyed decorating cookies, ice-skating, sitting down for a hearty meal and seeing a room full of gifts. While enjoying the festivities, Coach Todd McLellan said “This is really rewarding, to see a room full of kids, their eyes light up…we know they’re going home happy and that’s all that matters.”

To view 2014 Holiday Assist photos click here.

For more information click here.

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