New Jersey’s own Holiday Express: 30 years of helping those in need
New Jersey’s pride and joy, Holiday Express, a 501(c)(3) organization, is celebrating its 30th season in bringing the gift of kindness to so many who need it during the holiday season.
Holiday Express is made up of local New Jersey musicians and hundreds of volunteers who put on an event at places that are usually forgotten during the holiday season and for that matter all year round.
Places like soup kitchens, hospices, developmental centers, assisted living facilities and many more. Founded by restaurant entrepreneur and musician my friend Tim McLoone, the work that Holiday Express does during the holiday season is nothing short of heroic.
In their 30 years of service, Holiday Express loads buses and trucks with sound equipment and show props, brings a group of talented musicians who perform holiday songs in a casual, fun show that delights their “clients”.
Santa makes an appearance along with some well-known holiday characters like The Grinch, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph. The smiles on those that need to are bright and big and heartwarming. They also bring gift bags with socks, gloves, hats and maybe a toothbrush and other health care products. At some events, Holiday Express will bring sandwiches thanks to Jersey Mike’s.
This year they are scheduled to do over 100 shows in 39 days, an incredible undertaking. Organizing these 100 shows can be a nightmare but the mission and passion that Holiday Express remains strong and committed to help those in need. I’ve been involved with Holiday Express in different capacities for over 26 years.
They are the real deal when it comes to doing what they can to help those who need it. The volunteers interact with the clients and the musicians are great and truly excite the audience who are captivated by the entire Holiday Express experience.
To see the glowing smiles on faces that are worn and downtrodden is a truly heartwarming experience, one that I’ll never forget. Holiday Express depends on paid performances and a couple of events each year to fund the over 100 places that they serve.
I’m asking you to help them continue their mission this holiday season and give what you can. They have two concerts where you can enjoy the music and spirit of Holiday Express at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank on Monday. Dec. 19 and Tuesday, Dec. 20. You can get your tickets online from the Count Basie Theater. For more information and to donate go to holidayexpress.org and as always thank you for your support.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.