We were happy to celebrate the holiday season with events at our
afterschool programs and the main office. The events overflowed with
delicious food, beverages, exciting games, music, and laughter.
New Year everyone! Here at Sesame, we have much to be grateful for as we
celebrate the talents of our youth, the gift of community, and the hard
work of our employees. As 2022 came to a close, I am grateful to see
Sesame Flyers arrive at our 40th anniversary of service. We have truly
come a long way - together, and we intend on celebrating in a big way in
the coming months. I must express how much of a blessing each and every
person who has made a financial contribution to Sesame has been. Your
support has not only made a difference in our capacity to serve this
community but also has impacted thousands of children, families, and our
Caribbean culture at large. So, as we begin a new year, I look forward
to seeing you all safely and remaining in good health, with much
anticipation for the celebration of our 40th!
Sesame Flyers would like to extend our gratitude towards Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke who championed funding for 15 projects that will directly benefit Brooklyn residents in New York’s 9th Congressional District. Sesame was awarded $750K to renovate our main office building on Church Avenue.
“Time and time again, the good people of Brooklyn have proven that, when they are provided the tools for success and the resources to reach it, they always will. I am proud to announce that fifteen community projects dear to me and invaluable to our community will receive significant funding for their continued growth and development with the passage of our FY23 appropriations bill. Brooklyn is a special family, and it is on an inexorable trajectory towards something bigger. I consider it the blessing and privilege of my career to fight to get it there,” said Congresswoman Clarke.
On Saturday November 26th Gen Z’s Voices and Fist Full of Talent hosted
a youth talent show. With youth across the boroughs of New York arriving
to showcase their talents of singing, poetry spoken word, art,
guitar-playing, the event truly illustrated the gifted abilities our
adolescents carry. Samiah McWilliams who is 17 and Editor-IN-Chief of
Gen Z’s Voices and coordinator of the event summarized it best: “Taking
part in the fistful of talent was everything I could have dreamed of and
more. Seeing people my age that met each other the same day,
collaborate, and come together was mesmerizing. Experiencing firsthand
how the minds of Gen Z work together and flow was simply magical. I have
been left with enriching memories and excitement for our future events
beginning in his role, Mr. Shawndy has remained both dedicated and true
to his passion for dance. An amazing soul, Mr. Shawndy’s true self
reflects as his infectious personality is revealed upon discussion about
his vision in performing and putting on shows. From his patience with
his students to the reciprocated respect from pupils, anyone is amazed
to watch just how the children so closely watch his movements and so
intricately follow his lead. In such a short amount of time, I, as
Bildersee Beacon Director, have watched Mr. Shawndy grow into the leader
it takes to lead children to be successful. I look forward to my Good
Morning text from him and all the new ideas he wants to present to me as
his mind is racing with greatness. Seeing the excellence that Mr.
Shawndy produced at our Bildersee Beacon show, I can’t help but beam in
excitement as I anticipate his future work with the children.
The giving is anonymous:
There is something of the spirit of giving that is very powerful here, particularly at this time of year. Families who are in crisis, at a dark moment in their lives, at literally the darkest point of the year, touched by the kindness of strangers: a bit of light searching for them in the darkness, reassuring them that they as a family will move through the crisis into brighter, lighter days.
Initiated by the SFI Winthrop Beacon Parent Council nearly fifteen years ago, the Tree of Love begins with a Charlie Brown looking holiday tree. The tree is decorated with festive ornaments or “leaves”. Each leaf of the Tree of Love has a label on it that indicates a family composition with age and gender only.
A person or team of individuals takes a leaf from the Tree of Love and gathers gifts for “their family”. Unwrapped gifts are placed in a decorative gift bag and returned to the Sesame Flyers Main Office on Church Avenue. All of the gift bags are then collected by a staff member from the shelter and presented to the families at the shelter’s holiday celebration.
After a two year Covid interruption, members of the Sesame Flyers family
were able to reach out to bring holiday cheer to 24 families in need
this holiday season. The anonymous gift giving to families living in a
DV shelter allowed our Sesame Flyers staff and parents to shine a
brilliant light giving warmth and kindness to a number of vulnerable
families this holiday season. We thank all those who participated and
look forward to sharing in next year’s Tree of Love.
“Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is type of depression. It happens during certain seasons of the year—most often fall or winter. It is thought that shorter days and less daylight may trigger a chemical change in the brain leading to symptoms of depression. Light therapy and antidepressants can help treat SAD.” - hopkinsmedicine.org.
Domestic Violence and the Holidays
“Domestic violence (DV) is more likely to occur when stress levels are high. During the holidays, unrealistic expectations, financial strain, and alcohol can increase stress, and therefore, incidents of domestic violence.
There is help for persistent stress, worry, anxiety, depression, or
overall negativity during the holidays. Finding the right therapist
where you can have a safe place to get support and empowerment during
difficult times can be helpful. Therapy can help with stress management,
mood and relationships, and confidence and empowerment”. -MarieDroste.org.
NOTE : SESAME FLYERS INTERNATIONAL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER/PROGRAM AUXILIARY AIDS AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES.