Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa's Helpers

This week we were among Santa's helpers at one of the Salvation Army Christmas food and toy distribution centers in the Denver area. The New Heights Church is a Salvation Army facility not far from our house. We had gone on-line to find some place to volunteer over the Christmas season. We were routed to Volunteer Match and found this opportunity. We signed up to work from 8 am to 1 pm.

After things got organized, I was assigned to work with bags of Christmas gifts. That means I joined about 15-20 other women who gathered in an upper room filled with black trash bags full of gifts. Earlier in the week other volunteers had wrapped gifts collected through giving trees and put them in bags for each family. Some families received on bag, some two. You can see that some of the bags were quite large, and let me tell you, they were sometimes heavy, too. And often very awkward to pick up.

Downstairs, families lined up--20 families were assigned arrival times every 10 minutes. One worker would check with the family to find out their name, locate that name on a list, and radio a worker in the gift area with the family's number. She would call out the number and one of us would go find the bag or bags for that family. When we started, there were bags for 300 families arranged in order in this room.

We walked down three flights of stairs, then stood in line while the proper family showed their ID and signed for their food and gifts. Then we followed the individual or group that had come to pick up the Christmas gifts as they showed us to their cars. Many families were given two food boxes to help them over the holiday week. It was cold in Denver this week and all of us were bundled up for the trips outdoors. When we wished each family "Merry Christmas", we were given heartfelt "thank you"s.

Here is John, carrying only one box of food this time.

Many of the families had children who wanted bikes for Christmas. This is the supply of bikes before we started working.

Western Union allows its employees to spend one working day a year doing some sort of volunteer service. This group of voluteers all came from a local Western Union office.

I always wear a pedometer, making sure I walk at least 10,000 steps (5 miles) almost every day of the week. It helps me keep my weight under control. I walked 13,000 steps this day--most of it up and down stairs. I was glad for the exercise, but even more for the opportunity to help others have a better Christmas. We are so blessed by God in our lives and we want to help spread His blessings to others.

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1 comment:

  1. You're "good people"!!! Bless you for all your hard work!!
    Merry Christmas!!hughugs