Updated: Thursday, 20 Dec 2012, 6:21 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 20 Dec 2012, 6:21 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- It's called Hartford's "best kept secret" but for nearly 20 years it's been spreading holiday cheer to hundreds of kids in the Capital City.
Finding the joy in the season has been difficult.
"Who's ready to come to a holiday party," Doris Sugarman of Conn. Youth Forum asked.
We've been mired in unspeakable grief.
"I made my own cookie!" one child said.
"You made your own cookie," Jahmaar Roberts a volunteer asked. "Oh my gosh, that looks so delicious!"
What a joy it is then to capture the wonder of a child's face enjoying the magic the holiday has to offer.
"What do you want for Christmas," Santa asked.
"A lot of stuff," one boy said.
"A puppy, what color," Santa asked a little girl.
"Brown," the little girl said.
"Have you been good all year," Santa asked another child.
"Mhm, but my brother was bad," the child said.
"Your brother was bad," Santa asked.
This is the twentieth year of the Connecticut Youth Forum's "Children's Holiday Party," the non-profit hosts this event for 300 of Hartford's less fortunate children.
"This year it does take on a little more significance, I think the children are going to be hugged more today," Sugarman said.
The folks here really have thought of everything along with Santa and crafts and music, there's also a buffet. The only difference, this one is at kid level.
"Simon says make this face," Roberts said.
Youth serving youth. This is the first year of volunteering for Roberts who has more spirit than a Bing Crosby classic.
"I think it's a good healing sensation with all that's gone on recently. A lot of these kids, they're not sure how to process it. I'm not even sure how to process it," Roberts said.
One party can not eclipse a state's sorrow, what it can do, however, is help renew the faith of the human spirit by spreading a little Christmas spirit.
"We'll appreciate the laughing a lot more," Sugarman said.