Somy Ali, who does commendable work to rehabilitate the victims of domestic violence and rape through her NGO 'No More Tears (NMT),' organises a holiday party for the children she saves every year. The idea behind the party is to make the kids feel special around the time of Christmas.

Talking about the party held this year, she says, 'I decided to celebrate the holiday season for all my children in 2007. We call it a Holiday Party because we have mothers and their children from all faiths, or lack thereof. The concept came to me when I realised that the children, who have been abused, cannot get what they wish from Santa. Their moms being divorced or having a protection order in place are often limited financially. This made me want to do something immediately. Initially, the party would take place in my home till 2013, but as the number of children increased and there was a safety issue for myself and everyone else, we picked various venues to have the party each year. All that matters to me is that every child present gets a gift and they go home with a smile. There is nothing that can compare to that happiness I receive and a hug in return is all I need to fill my heart with incredible gratitude.'

She adds, 'It went very well and it’s all because of our board of directors and donors. Our treasurer flies in from Tennessee each year and organizes the entire party. The venue is a synagogue also donated each year thanks to our OBGYN and his wife. Before their sons went off to college they used to organise everything.  While our other board members arrange for presents for the children and food, we owe it to many people involved. Everyone from our NGO has a role and without them, this party would not be possible.'

She shares, 'There is no financial fundraising aspect attached to this party. It’s pure arts and crafts, games, food, and the best part for my children is giving them gifts. For me to know and realise that each year there are children who have suffered immense trauma and don't have a way to get presents rips my heart into pieces. And also, it makes me realise how much we complain about trivial stuff when there are legitimate problems such as lack of food or the inability to get a doll for a little girl. I make sure that we make that happen. And once again we did it. We made over 200 children enjoy themselves and go home with a present. This is why NMT is worth every minute of my life. Bringing happiness to others is the best way for me to feel happy. More people should give that mindset a shot and see the indescribable euphoria it brings in return.'

She adds that she is very grateful to all those who made this party possible. 'I would like to thank our board of directors and the volunteers who helped out throughout the party. And, of course, the synagogue plus all those who donated toys for the children. Looking forward to 2024 and doing it all over again for our children. Nothing can break this tradition that NMT has carried for 16 years.'