One December night, twelve-year-old Amy Sacks Zeide was watching TV and as she was flipping through channels, she paused on a local news broadcast. Someone had stolen all the presents from an Atlanta homeless shelter just before their annual Holiday Party and their children were left with nothing for Christmas. Amy was devastated. How could anyone steal from someone who has so little? With time, her initial sense of despair gave way to activism as Amy’s Holiday Party was born. Amy was determined to make sure that during the holiday season, disadvantaged children in Atlanta would have a chance to celebrate and to be celebrated.
That next year, in 1995, Amy donated her time and the money she received from her bat mitzvah (a Jewish coming-of-age ceremony) to throw a holiday party for the children at one local Atlanta shelter. What began with 25 children, help from close family and friends, and a budget of a few hundred dollars has blossomed into an annual community event for over 750 children and their families from homeless shelters, foster care systems, and refugee centers. Over 300 Atlanta teens come together to volunteer at the event.
Amy’s Holiday Party brings joy to underprivileged children and engages teen volunteers in providing an opportunity for everyone to celebrate and be celebrated.