By KAVYA UDUPA, sophomore
JP Stevens students, filled with holiday spirit, gathered together for the annual Key Club Holiday Dinner on December 7 to eat, laugh, and spread the festivities. The dinner was hosted by Key Club in efforts to raise money for the Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH) in New Brunswick. One of the nine children’s hospitals in New Jersey, CSH serves children who are in need of rehabilitation. Key Club has assisted CSH by running special projects, planning recreational activities, and cooking at the Ronald McDonald House, where parents
and other family members stay while their children are in the hospital.
The dinner officially started with a presentation by Janet Westin of the Children’s Specialized Hospital. Ms. Westin spoke about how the hospital helps to “keep [the children’s] mental skills while being hospitalized.” In the past year, CSH treated approximately 19,000 children. Following her speech, a short video showed the hospital’s impact on three children. One story involved two children who both suffered severe brain damage as a result of a car accident. With CSH’s help, the elder child has fully recovered; her younger brother has been undergoing therapy and is close behind. “After watching the video and listening to the speech, I felt that this event showed the true meaning of Christmas spirit,” expressed sophomore Karishma Patel.
The event continued with the dinner, which embraced a multicultural identity as many Key Club members brought homemade dishes. The Holiday Dinner not only brought students together for the holidays, but also raised a significant number of donations. Totaling nearly $500, the donations included over 150 Christmas gifts for the children at CSH. Key Club President Drishti Chabbria summarized, “It was an honor to serve this great cause and share the holiday spirit with these children. We hope that our gifts and contributions added joy to their holidays.”