12.23.2013

Wise Men Gift Exchange

Recently, I had the opportunity to serve at our church for the Wise Men Gift Exchange. This is a Christmas charity that the church does each year. People at the church donate toys, and money to purchase toys and gifts cards, for children in the community. Word spreads fast and parents and grandparents show up to find gifts for their children. And they come early. The doors open at 8am and the first person I helped had been there since 5:30am in line.
Volunteers from church can serve in a few different ways. You can be a Hospitality worker. This means that you serve the families breakfast as they come in. There were fruit trays, rolls, pastry, breads, coffee, juice, etc. There was a ton of food. You can also be a gift wrapper since the parents have the choice to wrap the gifts before leaving.
A personal shopper (which I was) that takes a parent through the gifts and helps them select gifts for their children. The gifts are sorted by age and price. The parents get three gifts for each child. One from each level - gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It was wonderful to talk to the parents about their children and help them get and carry the gifts they took. I can't begin to tell you how many parents and grandparents I got hugs and thank yous from. Our how many I had to shed a tear with. I love being a part of a church who is constantly doing things not just to help the people of the church but also the people of the community.
There was also a nice area set up for the children. Some parents don't have childcare and this could prevent from coming. The church has Santa's Wonderland. So many children had a great time over there waiting on their parents. And the Food Pantry and Emmanuel's Closet (free clothing and shoes) were also open for the weekend. Hundreds of volunteers were able to make the holidays brighter for hundreds of men, women, and children.

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