Kick­ing off the sea­son of giv­ing

WCS in high gear col­lect­ing gifts for this year’s Christ­mas Good­will Pro­gram

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - FAISAL ALI

CHRIST­MAS, IT’S FAIR TO say, can mean dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple. For some, it’s a chance to spend time with friends and fam­ily. For oth­ers, it’s the spir­i­tual solem­nity of the oc­ca­sion that most mo­ti­vates. And for oth­ers still, it’s Santa and Ru­dolph and presents and eggnog they look for­ward to most.

Re­gard­less of how you choose to spend the hol­i­days, though, there are themes such as com­mu­nity and good­will that are uni­ver­sal.

Liv­ing up to the spirit of the sea­son, Wool­wich Com­mu­nity Ser­vices (WCS) is once again ask­ing for dona­tions of toys and gifts to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Christ­mas Good­will pro­gram.

“Christ­mas Good­will is our agency’s way to help the com­mu­nity, peo­ple that are of low-in­come fam­i­lies, to have Christ­mas,” ex­plains Tina Reed, co­or­di­na­tor of com­mu­nity sup­port at WCS.

The presents and toys col­lected are wrapped by vol­un­teers, and then used to fill the Christ­mas ham­pers given out by WCS over the hol­i­day sea­son. Re­cip­i­ents of the Christ­mas Good­will pro­gram get a ham­per with their choice of chicken, turkey or ham, as­sorted food­stuffs and sup­plies col­lected from the Ki­wa­nis-led food drive ear­lier this month, and a gift card for a lo­cal gro­cery store.

“And then the kids give wish lists of toys that they want,” said Reed. “We have spon­sors that will buy some toys, and then we kind of add a lit­tle bit more to it through the dona­tions of the wish trees, and peo­ple that just bring in dona­tions.”

Donors can cer­tainly bring in their choice of Christ­mas gifts to WCS, says Reed, but those look­ing for gift ideas can pick a “wish” off any of the wish trees in the town­ship. The trees, lo­cated at WCS on 5 Me­mo­rial Ave., and Home Hard­ware stores in Elmira, St. Ja­cobs and Lin­wood, are dec­o­rated with dozens Christ­mas gift wishes. Donors can re­move a wish from the tree and look to fill it by pro­vid­ing the sin­gle gift idea, rang­ing from

sports equip­ment to cloth­ing to pop­u­lar toys

“They can just drop off gifts at our agency, be­tween 9 and 5. Or they can get a start of any of the wish trees, and take the star and it has spe­cific items on the star, just in case they don’t know what to shop for,” ex­plained Reed.

“Or they can spon­sor a fam­ily. So they can call in and get a fam­ily,” she added.

The re­cip­i­ent fam­i­lies are kept anony­mous, with spon­sors get­ting as­signed a fam­ily num­ber and a wish list to fill.

Once the toys are col­lected, WCS will be seek­ing vol­un­teers to help wrap the presents and fill ham­pers on De­cem­ber 11 and 12.

“So we have vol­un­teers that come and wrap ev­eryof thing,” said Reed. “We just put the child’s sex, so male or fe­male, and their age, and then the par­ents can take [the gifts] home and put their name on the tag. But ev­ery­thing is wrapped ... by all our many vol­un­teers.

“So if any­body’s in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing dur­ing that week, they can call our of­fices and vol­un­teer to wrap or to fill our ham­per boxes of food.”

Those in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing, spon­sor­ing a fam­ily or ac­cess­ing any of WCS ser­vices can call the cen­tre at 519-669-5139. Gift dona­tions must be dropped off at the of­fice, lo­cated on 5 Me­mo­rial Ave., be­fore De­cem­ber 9, so they can be ready to go by the De­cem­ber 13.

[FAISAL ALI / THE OB­SERVER]

Tina Reed, co­or­di­na­tor for com­mu­nity sup­port at the WCS, with one of the wish trees in the town­ship. The trees are dec­o­rated with dozens of Christ­mas “wishes” that those look­ing to do­nate can se­lect as part of the Christ­mas Good­will pro­gram.

The wish trees carry help­ful gift ideas for those in­ter­ested in do­nat­ing to the WCS pro­gram.

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