First person: Volunteering at the Crisis Nursery Children's Holiday Shop
By Bethany Hutchens
Gargoyle staff reporter
Posted Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006, The OG, features
I TEND TO feel a little guilty during the holiday season. Every year I receive piles of presents when I know many children go without. So, I decided to give back to the community by volunteering for Crisis Nursery's annual Children's Holiday Shop at Lincoln Square Village.
The shop is a place where children in the community can buy gifts for family and friends for the winter holidays.
I arrived at noon Sunday in the hopes of alleviating my holiday guilt. I signed in at the crowded volunteer desk (lots of Uni students!), donned a festive apron, and listened to orientation.
Our task was to help small children pick out gifts from tables of reasonably priced gifts in the room, and then help them to wrap their purchases. All proceeds went to Crisis Nursery, an organization that provides shelter and support for children in times of abuse or emergency.
That sounded philanthropic enough to me, so I rolled up my sleeves and prepared for the kiddies. My first customers were two little girls, aged 3 and 7.
At first the girls were shy, but as I led them through the aisles of gifts and gently prodded them away from the toys and toward more suitable gifts, they warmed up to me and to the idea of shopping. Their lists were long (how many grandmas can one person have?), but their quick decisions (apparently children have short attention spans) made the shopping go faster.
After their parents paid for the gifts, it was time to wrap. While the girls decorated their gift bags with markers, I wrote out “to/from” tags and stapled the bags shut. When everything was wrapped I helped the girls bag their gifts and ushered them out to their parents.
I felt satisfied as I left Lincoln Square Mall an hour later. The kids were cute, the cause was good, and hopefully I won't get a stocking full of coal this holiday season.
— Crisis Nursery's Web site