Somy Ali opens up about her annual Holiday Party at NMT | PERFECT WOMAN MAGAZINE
Actress Somy Ali, who runs a US-based NGO called No More Tears, has been tirelessly dedicating her time to saving victims of domestic abuse and rape, especially women and children. Every year, NMT has a tradition of hosting an annual party called Holiday Party, this year being it’s 15th edition.
“I initiated this concept in 2008 when NMT was just a year old. I labelled it to be a ‘Holiday Party’ because we have children of different faiths and in some cases lack thereof. Many mothers lose faith because of their child being sexually abused and they deem it to be God’s fault while some turn in the complete opposite direction and use faith to heal from what their child endured. Either way, the idea was to bring gifts and joy to my children. I call them my children since I never had the opportunity to become a mother. They have grown up in front of me and many came under our care 15 years ago. I can’t believe how much they change growth wise, both physically and mentally when I see them each year. It has to be my favourite NMT event because I get to see my kids and it fills in all my maternal instincts,” she says.
Talking about the party, she says, “It went amazingly well as Sony Music donated 300 toys and they did the same last year. We had several volunteers from Jetblue thanks to our board member, Christina Lily, who introduced us to the head of Jetblue, Swati, who happens to be from India originally. Jetblue donated gift bags for the kids and also volunteered their time. We had over 300 children show up and I owe the biggest to my best friend and board member Melissa McCune, who flew from Tennessee where she recently moved. Melissa organized the entire as she has been doing for the past five years now. A special thanks must go out to the Temple’s youth counselor. Josh, who allows us to use the space for free for years and also volunteers his time at the event. We would have never been able to find this Temple had it not been for OBGYN, Dr. Robert Bass and his wife, Toby Bass, as initially it was their sons who organized the party. They have moved away for college so Melissa was gracious enough to help organize the event.”
In fact, one of the volunteer’s son’s birthday was there and he celebrated it by asking people to donate for NMT. “That was from my friends, also originally from India, Yogesh and Shalini. I cannot emphasize how kind and thoughtful they were to ask their friends to donate to NMT in lieu of presents for their son’s birthday. It was an extraordinary thought and their kindness will never be forgotten,” says Somy,
She adds, “These children, while they have moved on from the horrors they encountered, are still unable to afford presents and good food during the holidays. Our goal as an NGO is to make sure none of our children ever have to feel that emptiness or that void of not having a decent meal and presents during this time of the year. This is a tradition which began with just an idea and it has become huge now and it will always be there for my children. Because there is nothing more satisfying than to see a child happy and most importantly to reunite with them after an entire year.”