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Office Nixes Secret Santa, Adopts 10 Families Instead

Kids open gifts at Castle Gardens

Kids open gifts at Castle Gardens (Credit: Terry Sheridan/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – As the Christmas holidays approached, HBO executive assistant Molana Kasanova wanted to do something other than the traditional Secret Santa office exchange.

“Rather than getting presents for each other or doing a Secret Santa, I suggested maybe we do an adopted family. Our family taking care of another family for the holidays,” she said.

Her idea worked. She and her coworkers adopted 10 families and raised around $1,500 to buy toys, bikes and even pampers for the children in the families.

 LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports

What made the occasion more special was that all of the families were recently homeless, but now live at Fortune Society’s Castle Gardens.

“It’s particularly special this year because all of these families, it’s their first time being in a home for Christmas so they’ve all moved out of shelters recently,” Kasanova said.

Clare McArdle’s 2-year-old son Joey will now have a Christmas.

“This is a great Christmas for him. It really is. We’re so happy and so grateful,” Gargle said. “He got a rocking pony, a rocking horse. He got a learning work bench.”

Everything came together, Kasanova said, just in time for Christmas.

“We wanted to make sure that, even if it was little things that they had something to enjoy Christmas,” she said. “There is a Santa Claus and he really pulled through this year.”