I just have to share this great experience with you all. Our church started this project last year and called it the Christmas Project. Leading up to December, they ask for donations of new or gently used gift items for men and women, as well as baskets and purses.
Once all of the items are collected, volunteers sort through it all, then package it up into gift baskets. Children at the Boys and Girls Club then get to “shop” and choose two of the baskets or bags to give to their primary caregivers. Typically this is their parents or grandparents. I think this is such a fabulous idea…to give the children the gift of giving. They are able to show appreciation and gratitude for their caregivers by giving a nice gift. For many, this is the first time they’ve experienced this kind of giving.
I helped out at the church early last week sorting through the donations. I was assigned the candles and picture frames table. I just organized it all and sorted through it all, to make it ready for assembly the following day. Other volunteers did the same for spa items, kitchen items, books, DVDs, jewelry, accessories, and more. There were so many donations!
The big event was held after school on Friday. I arrived to see 8 or 10 tables packed with overflowing baskets and bags. A whole assembly line was set up for wrapping and tagging the gifts once they had been chosen.
Y’all, I could not get over the abundance of these gifts! Each basket or bag held 4-6 gifts. This one had a make-up bag, a cute porcupine figurine, a book, scarf, and jewelry.
This woven suede purse held a hand-sewn travel bag, kitchen cups, jewelry and gloves.
A puzzle, candle holder, candle, note cards, jewelry, and a nice pen. I was overwhelmed by the abundance of the gifts.
The children arrived by grade level, starting with the little Kindergartners.
My job was to pair up with a child and help them shop around. We would talk about who their gifts were for and would discuss what gifts they might enjoy. Some were fast shoppers, and others liked to really look at each gift and make a sound decision. Once they picked two gifts, we made our way down the wrapping line.
As the children shopped, volunteers discreetly refilled the tables with more baskets. Each child had hundreds to choose from. About 300 children came through, so there were over 600 baskets!
That bag is almost as big as she is!:
Check out that loot!
This was such a great experience. I got the fun job. I know there were many many hours put in behind the scenes, organizing and preparing for this day. It’s been a while since I volunteered for anything, and I’m so glad I did. These children seemed genuinely grateful.