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The ‘Santa’ who brings the festive spirit of Christmas to the underprivileged children in Pune

Caroline Audoir de Valter has been lending a helping hand to the underprivileged and needy for the past 16 years through Hope For The Children Foundation (HFCF). 

pune Updated: Dec 23, 2017 21:29 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Santa,Christmas
Caroline poses for a picture with underprivileged children with whom she celebrates Christmas in Pune.(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

For any Christian household, Christmas is one of the most significant festivals.In the month of December, when everyone is spreading happiness and joy through gifts, parties and events, there is a section of society that is not privileged enough to enjoy the same. Bringing a smile on these faces are several city individuals.

Caroline Audoir de Valter has been lending a helping hand to the underprivileged and needy for the past 16 years through Hope For The Children Foundation (HFCF)."I was in the corporate world and decided to take sabbatical and experience the real life. My family ran an NGO when I was a kid, so I decided to take it further here in Pune. I founded Hope For The Children Foundation (HFCF) with an aim to provide a platform between beneficiaries and anyone who wants to do good. The dream has now become an incredible adventure. We travel around India to personally meet and network with NGOs and carefully select each orphanages, homes for street children, schools for slums, children from the red light area and HIV-infected children to be adopted or enrolled in Hope for the Children Programmes," said Caroline.

For Carol Valles, Christmas is all about spreading joy and happiness. She used one-fourth of her pay packet every December to help the needy and underprivileged.“It is something my parents taught me. With all the decorations and sweet making, we forget the real spirit of the festival. So, I avoid buying new clothes or spending money on myself. I prefer doing something for someone who really requires the cash or kind,” said Caroline.

George Martin said,“For us back home, Christmas is all about how all members of our family re-unite, come together, engage in conversations which go on till wee hours, invite friends and family over. Prepare savories and sweets, get the house cleaned (re-painted at times), get the children of the family and neighbours to decorate the Christmas tree, put up a star and lot of decorative lighting are the things that we do to bring about the festive mood.Since Christmas steps in at the coolest time of the year, the best way to help the needy would be by providing them with warm clothes and blankets, an activity which has been carried out in the past by my family. Other than that, common activities include visiting orphanage and homes and sing carols with them, with the distribution of Christmas cakes for the same. Focussing on a more inclusive method of celebration.”

First Published: Dec 23, 2017 20:39 IST