FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. (December 17, 2022) It can be hard these days for kids to just be kids, but on Saturday, that’s all A Christmas to Remember founder Sandra Shank wanted.

Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the event providing Christmas gifts to foster children, children with Department of Children and Families cases, and children in need, it was a perfect day.

Palm Coast City Councilwoman Cathy Heighter. Photo: Flagler News Weekly

Opening with remarks from dignitaries Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin and City Councilwoman Cathy Heighter, among others, the importance of community mindfulness was top of mind.

“I’m here to be a part of not grassroots, but this grass has the deepest roots in the community because they have come together in just the last five years and put together a community spirit to help all of those in need enjoy the most special holiday season we can imagine,” said Alfin. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of this great organization and event.”

No one can resist Santa, not even Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin or Jerusha Logan. Photo: Flagler News Weekly.

After the opening ceremony, children and their caregivers lined up eagerly for freshly grilled hamburgers and hot dogs courtesy of Flagler Beach restaurant The Net by George, before racing off to endlessly enjoy the free bounce houses, and games including Laser Tag.

A team of volunteers, led by event chair Michele Snyder worked around the clock to create this year’s event for the families.

Photo: Flagler News Weekly

“All of the hard work, and just to let these families know that we are a community that love them, that cares for them,” said Shank.

“Sometimes people are embarrassed to ask for help, but when it’s done this way, where everybody is blessed, the parents are blessed because their kids are provided for, the children are blessed because the times we are living in are so troubling, they can come out here and be kids, the teenagers can be teenagers and have fun, they’re having fun riding the younger kids around on the mules.”

Photo: Flagler News Weekly

“Oftentimes people feel alone. This time of year can be very difficult, but today I had someone walk up to me and just give me a hug and say thank you. It makes a difference. We just never know what people are going through.”

As part of the Abundant Life Ministries, Hope House, Inc., Shank works quietly behind the scenes to support the area’s most in-need. Rarely attracting attention, she demonstrates the impact through action and results.

Photo: Flagler News Weekly

At the core, Shank says her foundation is built on faith and a deep love for humanity.

“Whenever I’m able to serve humanity it is an unbelievable blessing for me to be able to serve,” she said. “The weather is absolutely gorgeous and to see the joy on the faces and the youth makes everything worth it.”

It takes a village. Photo: Flagler News Weekly

“This is what it’s about. If we ever lose sight, our purpose is to serve humanity. Not to be served, but to serve humanity. That is where the true joy, and that is what this season is all about.”


Photo: Flagler News Weekly