EXCITEMENT written on their faces, the children hovered over the presents laid out beneath the Christmas tree, touching the wrapping and trying to guess what was within and which one would be theirs.
The orphans were from various homes and some of them were celebrating Christmas for the very first time at the Crown Princess Kuala Lumpur recently.
The gifts were the results of the hard work of Federal Hotels Inter-national Group (FHI) and the American Association of Malaysia (AAM) through their Christmas Giving Tree Festive Charity Campaign that started on Nov 15.
Thanks to the kindness of many generous donors, all the children received gifts.
Among the recipients was eight-year-old Chang Yi Wei, a leukemia patient at the University Malaya Medical Centre, who received the laptop that was her Christmas wish as part of The Star Metro-BRATs Wish Tree Festive Charity Campaign 2006.
But, the children had to wait before they could unwrap the presents. First, there were the speeches, albeit suitably short.
“On behalf of the Federal Hotels International Group, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all the generous contributors, who include our FHI hotel guests, business partners and our fellow colleagues, members of the American Association of Malaysia and members of the public who have generously contributed to a good cause,” said FHI marketing and regional sales deputy director Ooi Lee Ping.
Then, there was the spread of great food laid out for the youngsters.
Included in the spread were children’s favourites like mini burgers, hot dogs and potato wedges.
There were even party hats at the tables, and the presents were soon forgotten as the kids dug into their meal.
Some went for second helpings while others enjoyed playing with the items in their party packs.
The event was every bit about bringing some laughter and joy to the children, and this the food and fellowship did just as much as the anticipation of opening the gifts.
Finally, it was time. With the meal done and tummies satisfied, everyone was invited to grab their gifts, much to the delight of the kids.
For the old folks and some of the children who could not make it to the party, their gifts were delivered to their respective homes.
The homes that were involved in the project were Rumah Charis, Trinity Children’s Home, House of Mercy, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Agathians Home, Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Ampang Selangor and Rumah Cheshire Selangor Home.