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“I remembered the many breakfasts with Santa my parents brought me to and the magical delights of those moments,” Shannon said. “I knew I had to participate in the event, because it is so important for the children, who believe in the magic of the holidays.”
For three weeks, Shannon told all the families she served at Applebee’s about the Breakfast with Santa event. She sold 39 tickets, including two for her husband and her ten-month-old daughter, Charlee.
“Even though money is tight in my family, I knew the price we paid for the tickets would help a child who had no Christmas coming,” Shannon said. “Our Christmas tree would not have any presents under it either, but at least my daughter would get to meet Santa for the first time.”
On the day of the event, the jolly old elf arrived right on schedule, on a fire truck rather than his traditional sleigh. Wearing her own Santa hat, Shannon cheerfully brought out pancakes, sausage, eggs and chocolate milk for the families in attendance, earning $42 in tips.
“I considered keeping my tips, because we could really use the money. But I decided to donate the $42 to the toy drive,” Shannon said. “Times are hard for us, but somewhere they are even harder for another family.”
The Good Deeds essay contest provided an opportunity for Shannon and other students at the Margate campus to share their stories of service, which is a core value at American Institute.
Shannon’s essay ended with the words, “Good deeds are contagious. Paying it forward is something that we should do. My Christmas is complete.”
As it turned out, there was one more gift under the tree for Shannon. Her essay won the contest drawing, and she was presented with a $150 gift card. Happy Holidays, Shannon, and thank you for your generosity and dedication to your community.
July 15, 2017, Toms River, NJ – On July 15, nearly two dozen students, staff, and friends from American Institute’s Toms River campus came together at the Great Walk in Pier Village to take part in the annual Colon Cancer Alliance Undy Run/Walk. Stacy Chait, Senior Admissions Representative for the Toms River campus, formed the […]
April 2, 2017, all locations – On April 2nd, American Institute campuses joined the world in celebrating “Light it up Blue” to help raise awareness about autism. Many staff and students came to class wearing blue, signifying their support for research and programs that assist the rising number of children and adults who live with […]