They say that the holidays are magical. Perfect? Not by a long shot, but magical yes, in the most unusual and unexpected ways you could possibly imagine. It began with the hundreds of people who shopped for gifts for strangers. Then it moved on to the dozens of perhaps unknown but not unappreciated people who picked up these gifts and delivered them to places like Putnam CAP in order that they would ultimately find a home with a child in need. Of course, we must gratefully acknowledge the importance of the loan of a physical site to run the program, when the walls of the CAP office are just too tight to accommodate it. Soon, dozens and dozens of volunteers arrived to unpack, set-up, shop for last minute needs and make the toy rooms look beautiful and ready for opening day.
Surprises abounded, particularly when on the two coldest days of the season the volunteers found themselves working in a building without heat. They smiled, they bundled up, they called home for someone to bring them a warmer coat and gloves, and they stayed. Some don’t personally celebrate Christmas, but they came for the children, and they stayed. On the third morning, when that day’s volunteers arrived, they stepped into a building with a burst water pipe. They didn’t get to experience the excitement and satisfaction of helping families choose gifts for their children as they had expected. But they stayed, sloshing around in water helping to clean up the damage and getting ready to reopen the doors in less than 4 hours. Oh, and let me not forget the volunteers who responded to last minute calls for help, gladly giving of their time and taking care of whatever was asked of them, with incredible efficiency and always with a happy heart.
We’re happy to report that more than 2,000 gifts found their way into the homes of local children.
Whatever your part was, you know who you are, and to all of you, I say thank you from all of us at Putnam CAP. You made it truly magical!
Director, Putnam Community Action Partnership