Last year was the first time I sponsored holiday gifts for a child. There are lots of non-profits out there that collect wish lists from families that don't have extra cash for holiday gifts and hook them up with people that have some to spare. I took two lists and went shopping and it was lots of fun.
I like shopping.
I didn't realize that Glenview Youth Services had such a program until I read about it in Patch.com. But I clicked over, sent an e-mail and received the information. Again, I sponsored two kids and dropped off the loot last weekend when they were sorting through the gifts. This week is the wrapping and I volunteered this morning.
I headed over to the NIPSTA building, where they are staging the gift program. They have plenty of tables set up with wrapping paper and boxes and other supplies. The staff and regular volunteers (as opposed to my one-day "event" volunteering) bring over the gifts that were selected for children in a particular family and then we wrap.
GYS is very careful to label every item so that the right gift goes to the right child, so we completed the gift tag before wrapping the gift. Once while working on a big family, my table found a couple of gifts with lost labels and the staff went back to the database printouts to confirm the match. "No guessing" was the motto, which I appreciated. And I particularly enjoyed the gift tags that were handmade by other kids.
I learned that reversible wrapping paper is cool. It has patterns on either side that are thematically similar, but not exactly the same. Particularly if you are pressed for space, that is good stuff. When I made that comment onsite, another volunteer said, "They have been doing this for years and have it down to a science."
Hm. So does Santa Claus.
Wrapping is scheduled to continue through December 14. If you are interested in helping out, here is a link to the program page. If I were going to name one supply that they could really use, it would be gift boxes. We were going through those quickly today - particularly the ones for the winter coats. And they can always use more wrapping paper!