Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Op Santa

Because I love Christmas and everything about it, I am working for a small non-profit organization here that brings Santa into underprivileged children's homes on Christmas morning.  I have worked for them before and, other than the budget constraints that always plague small non-profits, it was a great experience.  The look on those children's faces on Christmas morning when Santa walked in the door was more than priceless and worth all the headaches.  

We provide them with a sturdy play/school outfit, a winter coat, if they need it, and shoes, if needed.   Another group donates the toys, another the toiletry items, one group is doing school supplies, another gives socks and underwear and we always provide them with an age appropriate book.  Sometimes, we are even able to give bikes and helmets to the kids.

Today, we had our shopping day for clothing.  There is a local department store that lets us in before the store opens to shop, unhindered, for clothes for 50-75 kids each year.  They give us the best sale price of the season, box up each outfit and coat, and supply us with rolls of wrapping paper for us to wrap them.  Now, as the coordinator for this event, I am pretty organized in order to make the shopping go as smoothly as possible.  I print out a sheet with each child's name, age, sex and all their sizes.  The store supplies us with shopping bags that I staple the sheets to and each elf just has to fill up a bag.  There are elves who have shopped with us for many years.  They know how it works and are worker bees who come ready to roll and can usually shop for 3-4 kids at a time.  Then there are the elves who should just sit in the corner and color.  You know the ones...they need help with every little detail, they are out of touch with what a 7 year old girl would like (even though on the sheet it says "loves pink and Hannah Montana"), and they think that a white winter coat is a good idea.  The ones that you wish would just volunteer to be wrapper elves or delivery elves.  When these elves arrive, it takes them 45 minutes to shop for one child.  Our veteran elves can shop for 20 kids in 45 minutes.  It is not rocket science, people.  It is a sweatshirt and jeans.  It is a hoodie and cargo pants.  Brain surgery?  No.  I mean, I did shoes for all 50 kids in one hour, BY! MY! SELF!  

Whew, I feel better.  Wait, was that out loud?

So, now the fun can begin...wrapping, organizing, sorting, mapping, and delivering.  It will all be worth it when Santa walks in on Christmas morning with his herd of elves and sack full of presents.  Oh, those beautiful children's faces!  

Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

1 comment:

Lynda said...

What a wonderful thing to do!