SOME MORE SMILES (Project SMS July 20th 2012)



Project SMS ( Some More Smiles)  was organized by Edison Visionary Lions Club  On Friday July 20th 2012 to spread cheer and smiles to the children of families displaced by a 9-alarm fire  at a Woodbridge apartment complex on July 10th 2012. More than fifty families were displaced; most of these families were recent immigrants from India with young kids. The event received great support from the local community, many dignitaries and the media.
2VDG Lion Mahesh Chitnis said “I am glad to receive such a huge support from the community for Project SMS. It reaffirms my trust in "It takes a village to raise a child". Thank you everyone for your generous support and encouragement.”
Some More Smiles (SMS) spread smiles to the faces of 35 children and their families. The event started by some arts and crafts activities for the kids where they were encouraged to draw and paint about their families, home and schools. These paintings will be displayed at the office of Mayor of Woodbridge.
Edison Visionary Lions Club also arranged for a magic show for the entertainment of the children and their families. The magic show was organized by the Trixy the Magician from FunHouse production NJ. The interactive magic show kept the audience captive and gave these children to become the stars of the show for a short while, giving them a feeling of being important. After the entertainment the attendees enjoyed a treat of pizzas, cupcakes and other refreshments.
The event was attended by dignitaries like the Mayor of Edison and Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. The dignitaries interacted with the fire victims and offered their full support to them. Congressman Pallone as donated a lot of new toys and school supplies for the fir affected children. Their presence made a huge impact on morals of the victims.
The main highlight of the event was the toy distribution. Each fire affected child got a personalized gift bag containing age appropriate toys, books and schools supplies. Mayor Ricigliano helped the members of EVLC to distribute these toys to the children. After losing all their toys and other favorite belongings, it was like Christmas in July for these kids. The toys brought smiles and laughter for the kids and these smiles brought tears of joy for their parents.
Each gift bag also contained personalized handmade cards made by the children of Rutgers summer camp for the fire affected children. The cards had a lot of encouraging words going out from one child to another. The children at Rutger’s camp made more than 80 cards to be distributed the fire effected children and their families.
President of EVLC Lion Anu Chitnis said “When I saw tears in Ishan Raval's mom's eyes while thanking me for our efforts in bringing smile on Ishan's face, I realized what we had accomplished! There was Ishan smiling away because he got 2 NERF guns and his mother crying to see the smile on Ishan's face that lit up his face for the first time in 2 weeks. We made an impact on these children today.”
Cub Ojas Chitnis giving his first bike to a fire victim
Along with toys and other goodies, EVLC gave each child a gift card from Toysrus and Barns and Nobles to help them buy some more toys, books and back to school supplies. The tennaged children were given two free tickets to the balloon festival in Readington NJ. The tickets were sponsored by Radio Asia.
The smiles and the tears  of the families and the over whelming support of the local community, the community leaders, local business owners and the  media made this EVLC effort to spread “ SOME MORE SMILES” a big success.
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