The month of December can bring lots of excitement and joy for those who enjoy holidays, especially Christmas, but for many families it can be a painful reminder that they may not have enough extra resources to provide their families with the gifts they want.
For those families, the Biddeford-Saco Rotary Club is a welcome helping hand. For 21 years, the club (of which I'm a proud member) has solicited applications from families in need of help over the holidays. A committee selects a certain number of families and children to help and then the fun begins.
The first step after organizing the wish lists is shopping! About 20 Rotarians meet at WalMart on a Wednesday night after Thanksgiving and spend a couple hours fulfilling all the wishes for the kids. This year we were lucky to have help from some of the Interact members from Biddeford High School.
The following Wednesday night is the big wrapping party at York County Federal Credit Union. Another 20 to 25 Rotarians show up and get to work wrapping all the gifts and transform a normally quiet credit union into Santa's Village. Again, this year we had more help from our high school Interact kids and it really is a fun party! We are grateful to TJ's Pizza for feeding us all while we work. All in all it takes us about 2 hours to get everything wrapped up, sorted, and stored until delivery time.
On the Wednesday before Christmas, we are ready to deliver the gifts to the family. In addition to the gifts we also give each family a gift certificate to Hannaford to help them with their holiday food shopping. Another trusty team of volunteers showed up to load their vehicles with gifts and are given the addresses where they should be delivered.
It is an awesome feeling to be part of this great group of selfless people that are committed to brightening the Christmas spirit for local families here in Biddeford!
Broker and Market Area Specialist