Construction company Pacific Rim is collaborating with Saipan radio station 103.9 FM KZMI to help a family celebrate Christmas in the best possible way through their “Christmas Surprise on Saipan”—as a way to support families that are going through challenging times in the wake of the double-whammy of Super Typhoon Yutu and the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Pacific Rim president Keith J. Stewart, the goal of this event is to provide a memorable Christmas to a family that has been experiencing tough times. “Saipan’s economy and the many lives of people have been devastated by COVID-19 and by Super Typhoon Yutu. This program aims to give them joy and support to overcome the challenges they may be experiencing, at least for the holidays,” he said.
As part of this initiative, one family will be chosen based on an essay written about them by someone or another family that will nominate them. The theme of the essay will depend on why the nominator believes that this family is the most deserving. “[The nominator has to explain in the essay,] like, what happened that put the family in this position? Did they lose their house? Did they put all their money toward saving their child who had cancer? We won’t know but I bet there will be a family that needs help,” Stewart said.
The chosen family who wins “Christmas Surprise on Saipan” will have their house filled with Christmas decorations or other surprises that will depend on what the family needs. “For example, if we find the most deserving family is living in a tent, then we may rent a house for a year and decorate the house, leave presents, etc. If the family lost their car or needs transportation, maybe they get a new car or, if they need to send their kids to college, maybe we can help with this.”
The surprise could include—but is not limited nor guaranteed to include—decorations, gifts, equipment, cash, food, sponsorships, and/or a wide variety of other items, based upon the perceived need of the family. “We will determine the final surprise when we read the essay and make the selection as the intent is to help put the family in a better position, so 2021 can basically be a better start,” he added.
Starting today, nominators can fill up an application form that is available at the Pacific Rim and KZMI’s websites and Facebook pages. The consent of the family being nominated is needed. Anyone can nominate a family who lives on Saipan, which means there are no restrictions on nationality, ethnicity, sex, family size, etc., and it is important that the nominated family will be on island on the week of Christmas. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 30.
There will be an executive committee that will be composed of key program sponsors and they may conduct a reasonable background check on the family being considered. Then a selection committee will be responsible for identifying the winning family. “The first goal is to help one family but, if there is excess capacity, we would consider helping others,” Stewart said.
“When a winner is selected, our committee will confidentially reach out to the nominator and coordinate a time when the nominated family will not be home. While the family is away, the decorating/prep team will go to the house and set up the Christmas surprise. …The more detailed and complete the application is, the better the team will be able to meet the family’s needs,” Stewart added.
Stewart and his team are looking at making this program an annual event. “We hope that we can do this every year and get the community to participate and experience this whole process together and hopefully change lives and we hope many will support this with us,” he said.
“…This isn’t a stunt or anything as we truly want to find a family that we can have a great positive impact this Christmas. We believe it will have a great positive impact and will be a lot of fun for everyone who participates,” he added.
For more information, go to Pacific Rim and 103.9 FM KZMI websites and Facebook pages. Pacific Rim is not affiliated with Pacific Rim International.