Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/11/07 A Really Feel Good Day!

We started our day in a meeting for all the workampers. We each received a goodie bag of nuts, candy and an orange but I would rather have spent the time in a better way....like making the first half of my line dancing class!

After class I went over to the Oasis (activities building) to see what was going on. Since not a whole lot was happening there I made my way home to gather the toys Bob and I bought for the children's Christmas party as they had to be turned in today.
A short time later I was back at the Oasis to meet up with twelve others from the park to load the toys and ourselves into cars/trucks to take them to the Val's house. Val is the lady who is organizing this huge party. Did it take twelve of us to deliver toys? No, it didn't, but we were going to Val's for another reason. We're going to WRAP all the presents she has for the party!

We arrived at Val's at one o'clock and the first order of business was for Bruce, our Activities Director, to present Val with a check representing the cash donations the park residents contributed to the cause.

Val had tears in her eyes as she accepted the check for $579.00.

It was time to get down to business. Now, Val did not expect thirteen of us. When we first contacted her and said there were some in the park that wanted to help wrap the gifts she expected three or four of us. You can imagine her surprise when thirteen of us marched into her home. She cleared every flat surface that was suitable for a wrapping station in short order and we were soon underway.

First we had to pick out wrapping paper.

Val already had the toys sorted into huge boxes according to gender and age and all the gifts in that particular box would be wrapped in the same paper. This will make it much easier for the "elves" when it comes time to give them out.

This was the first box of toys I helped wrap.

Everyone got busy right away. Here's Carol B. and Darlene S. cutting paper to size.

Even the men got into the act. Richard made short order of wrapping this baby doll for some lucky little girl.
As we were getting started, scissors in hand and tape at the ready, Bruce made an unusual request as far as gift wrapping was concerned. He asked for a butter knife.

Hmmmm.....maybe he ran with scissors as a child and was banned from every using them again. If that's the case he certainly mastered cutting wrapping paper with a butter knife!
This Santa's helper really dressed for the part!
I think these smiles show how happy everyone was to help out in this worthwhile cause.
Busy at the work at hand.
Good job ladies!

By four o'clock we were done. We had wrapped 476 presents in three hours! There were still a few gifts left but Val assured us that it would be no problem for her to get them done before the party on the 22nd.

We gathered for a group picture with Val (center) and her friend, Betty (in orange)on the front lawn. Take note of the sweatshirts, jackets and long pants. It's cold, cloudy and damp here in this part of Arizona but our hearts sure were warm!
Val told us about one lady who handed in her registration form for the party so that her children could attend and requested that her children not be given gifts. She explained that her children would attend the party so that they could see Santa but that they were not needy children and that she didn't want her children to take a gift that could otherwise go to a child who would only receive the gift they were given at the party. Val explained that there would be enough to go around but the lady wouldn't hear of it. This is what Christmas is all about, giving to those less fortunate.
When we piled into our cars to drive the few miles back to Quail Run I heard snippets of conversation from the other gift wrappers. The consensus seems to be that we were all glad we did this today, we feel good about our part in the Christmas party for the children of Arizona City. Yep, a really feel good day!
Back at the park I had to place our orders for our Pizza Partner night. Tonight is the night Domino's has buy one get one free.
Bob played pool tonight and I settled for a bit of time reading/answering email and watching TV.
What a great day!

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