You know Red Bank is ready for the holiday season each year whenever Holiday Express rolls into town for their annual concert. It’s been a staple for a long while now, which has coincided with the event for turning on the town lights in Red Bank. This year has been anything but normal, so it should come as no surprise that the annual Holiday Express concert has been cancelled due to the continuing concerns around the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, Holiday Express will be going all-virtual this year, bringing their signature tunes and high energy performances to the places in their scheduled locations. It’s definitely going to be a different situation in Red Bank this time around, seeing that Holiday Express’ presence in town has helped to bring families near and far together for an evening of fun. Still, this is the necessary pre-caution that the non-profit has decided to enact.
This year Holiday Express, a non-profit organization comprised of 2,500 volunteers, including 150 musicians, kicks off its 28ht season in a very different way. Holiday Express will virtually deliver its famous, rock n’ soul, holiday party to more than 100 locations throughout the tri state area. Holiday Express elves, costume characters, and maybe even Santa himself will continue to safely deliver the much-needed gift bags, filled with every day essential items that go to the 27,000 people they visit each year.
It is the mission of Holiday Express to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year. Holiday Express visits the mentally ill, the homeless, the hungry, the physically challenged and many others. Most of the groups that Holiday Express visits are more vulnerable than ever, due to COVID-19. The decision to go virtual was made in order to protect everyone’s health and safety. However, the need to help is greater than ever, and so is the dedication of the Holiday Express staff and volunteers. The energy filled, rocking holiday party, led by Holiday Express founder Tim McLoone, was professionally recorded in the Holiday Express warehouse and will be distributed to the organizations so they can view it in a safe and enjoyable way. “While the 2020 season might not look and feel as it has in the past, we felt this was the best way to keep our commitment to those who have come to depend on us, while protecting the safety of those we visit and our volunteers,” says Tim McLoone.
While Holiday Express cannot have a packed warehouse full of volunteers this season there are still ways that people can help Holiday Express help others including:
Adopt an Event: Pick your favorite organization that Holiday Express “visits” and make a monetary donation to offset expenses for gift bags, food, a giving partner gift and much needed items for that particular charity. Adopting an Event starts at $5,000 for small and local events. You may also make a financial contribution to support gift bags, transportation or other costs associated with an event.
Collection Drives: Collect needed items for Holiday Express gift bags and arrange a time to safely drop off items at the warehouse, or shop directly on Smile Amazon and have them delivered. Items needed include: Adult toothpaste, baby body wash, crayons, and coloring books. All items must be new.
As the season gets underway, for more ways to help and more information about Holiday Express please visit www.holidayexpress.org or call 732-544-8010 and follow us on social media.