The Hands and Feet Outreach Program and Broken Sprocket food truck park have joined forces to host a Christmas Wonderland event on Sunday, complete with a tree lighting ceremony, pony rides, pictures with Santa and more.
Hands and Feet and the Christmas Wonderland are the brainchild of Jennifer Schuster, a retired teacher at Rivera Early College High School, who taught sociology and the community service program.
“I just missed doing all of these community service projects,” Schuster said. “COVID shut all that down, so once everything lifted I went to Tony Estrada at the Broken Sprocket and I said how would you like to join hands with me? I need a venue. I used to have the schools. It would be good for your business You can give back to the community.”
Estrada, the Broken Sprocket’s founder at 6305 Paredes Line Road, was totally down with the idea.
“We’ve always done philanthropy work and so when Jenny approached me there’s two things that we worked together on,” Estrada said.”We already had a very successful one over Thanksgiving, where we prepared 49 full meals for underprivileged families, so because of that we started talking about the next event which is Christmas and the need to help underprivileged kids. The message resonated with us and she came up with the idea of the Christmas Wonderland.”
Christmas Wonderland features all sorts of family activities, among them a gingerbread cookie contest, Christmas crafts, Christmas caroling, a toy giveaway, and food from the Broken Sprocket’s seven food trucks.
Admission is $10 per wristband entitling the wearer to all activities.
Philanthropy is the hook to the whole thing. One-hundred kids, 30 from the Sunny Glen Children’s Home in San Benito and 70 from Brownsville’s Good Neighbor Settlement House, will receive free wristbands, and a meal.
“They’re all getting gifts. People are pulling together to do this so these kids can have Christmas,” Schuster said. In addition, $5 of the general admission fee will be donated to Sunny Glen and the Good Neighbor house.
The Hands and Feet Outreach Program is in the process of getting certified as a 501-C3 nonprofit organization and plans more community service activities down the road, Schuster said.