Gifts for Parents

Due to the current pandemic, Gifts for Parents will not be held in the Fall of 2020
2019 Gifts for Parents Summary Report

A highly successful 2019 Gifts for Parents event was conducted on Saturday, 12/7, hosted by St. Mark's United Methodist Church.  As hoped, all involved were embraced in the spirit of hospitality.   

Relevant information:
1.  150 families came to our event, each using one of a possible 300 time-designated "Family Entry" tickets, distributed by staff at CommUnity Food Bank and St. Mark's United Methodist Church.
2.  341 children from these families were accompanied by our Escort volunteers to select up to three gifts for adults significant in their lives.  Gift wrapping volunteers help children select wrapping paper & bows, and wrapped each gift.
3.  190 volunteers from 25 faith communities filled 240 critical works slots, contributing to the success of our event. This included receiving & sorting donations on 12/5, multiroom setups on 12/6, and greeting families, serving breakfast, escorting children, wrapping gifts and clean-up on 12/7.
4.  The St. Mark's Men's Group, supplemented by other faith community men's groups, provided a tasty pancake breakfast for patrons and volunteers from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Thanks to each of you for promoting Gifts for Parents in your faith community or organization, encouraging excellent gift donations and extraordinary volunteer participation!

The Gifts for Parents Leadership Team met on multiple occasions during 2019 in order to assure the success of this project.  Leadership Team members were: John Barr (coordinator), Brenda Mayer, Peggy Aguilar, Mark & Carol Martin, Nancy Richards, Sue Dayton, Suzanne Krogh, Helene Hembreiker, Julie Olson, & Edie Roberts.  Jenni Bounds played a key role in setting up and maintaining the SignUp Genius used to schedule volunteers.

The Team met on 1/7/20 to comprehensively review the event.  Allison Bettine, Basic Needs Coordinator at CommUnity, who oversaw their “Family Ticket” distribution, also participated. Numerous details were discussed and procedural notes were taken by the Coordinator.  It was felt that the Tickets, color-coded in lots of 30 at ½ hour intervals from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., were key to the smooth flow of patrons.  There was agreement that the gift event should return to its original timeframe of 9:00 to Noon, which would require only two shifts of volunteers rather than the three needed this year, and a shorter time commitment for kitchen staff.  It was recommended that turkey sausage be served instead of pork sausage.