Distribution Week of Adopt-a-Family 2009 is finished. Here are the stats of what we accomplished:
2,311 children in 1,118 families received gifts of toys and clothes
Beginning last Sunday afternoon and wrapping up this morning, many of us devoted 55+ hours this week to pull it all together. I’d like to acknowledge each of the members of the Board of Directors and thank them for their incredible dedication to this very special program.
Pauline Belisle, 2009 President, for her incredible work in coordinating and preparing gifts for 250+ children we did not have donors for. Pauline devoted nearly 12 hours a day to this effort to make sure that no eligible child was turned away this year.
Cathy Savage, 2009 Vice President, who spent 12 hours a day working in the warehouse organizing and sorting the nearly 4,500 bags and boxes of gifts.
Debbie Mitchell, 2009 Treasurer, who shopped, wrapped, tagged and bagged gifts for 45 children prior to Distribution Week. Debbie also spent many hours with us this week working in Santa’s Workshop.
Bobbie Aubin who worked in Santa's Workshop pulling together appropriate toys and clothes for the children without donors.
Bev Denis who prior to Distribution Week spent hours contacting and organizing the seven-day schedule of nearly 200 volunteers. Bev was also with us every day meeting and greeting the volunteers and filling in anywhere an extra hand was needed.
Pat Dubois who worked in Santa’s Workshop sorting and wrapping for the children without donors.
Diane Fregeau for all the hours spent weeks and months before Distribution Week seeking out many of the toys and clothes purchased in anticipation of the need to provide for children without donors.
Joan Powers who worked greeting donors, cataloging the hundreds of bags and pitching in wherever help was needed.
Rhea Powers our Kitchen Elf Extraordinaire who kept our bellies full with hot soup, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, hot cider and warm cookies and coordinated the many donations of food. There were always pots of coffee, tea and hot chocolate available. On several evenings Rhea and her ‘staff’ fed nearly 50 volunteers a hot meal. If it’s true that an army marches on its stomach, Rhea is our General.
Sue Rennie who spent hours day after day often standing in the cold meeting and verifying the 1000+ parents of the children helping us be sure that the right gifts went to the right families.
Deana Robidoux for all the hours spent weeks and months before Distribution Week seeking out the many toys and clothes purchased in anticipation of the need to provide for children without donors.
Tina Stothard for her help in shopping for the families without donors and time spent in Santa’s Warehouse.
Brenda Viscione for her hours wrapping, tagging and bagging gifts in Santa's Workshop.
Julie Wunderlich who brought us many new donors and student volunteers from Mt. St. Charles Academy. Julie also worked along side Pauline all week sorting and inventorying Santa’s Workshop.
Gail Zak for her months of savvy shopping and work this week in Santa’s Workshop sorting through our inventory to organize gifts for the children without donors.
Janice Geddes for hours spent on the telephone making hundreds of calls to families giving them the good news that their children’s gifts were ready.
For many of us, Distribution Week is an annual reunion when we catch up on good news and sometimes bad news of the year. As I watched the comings and goings of everyone I saw husbands, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and friends of so many of us who were all working hard but having a wonderful time. I also saw several past board members and hopefully some future as well.
There are so many whose names I would love to mention but won't for fear of missing someone. The one exception I will make is to thank our friend Joe "Santa" Lynch for his incredible effort to volunteer. Joe arrived under the most difficult of circumstances and brought several of his 'boys' who stood for hours each night in the frigid cold helping donors drop off and recipients pick up gifts. I wrote about Joe earlier this year and his extreme generosity of spirit and kind efforts on our behalf.
I also want to mention our friends at Woonsocket Elks Lodge #850 for their kindness and support of our program. Daily they dropped in to watch us in action and to ask if there was anything we needed. This was our third year in their building, and we still count our blessings that we found such a perfect location to call home.
I think I can speak for each and everyone who was there this week when I say I am glad to have been there to see it all come together but I am also glad it's over for another year.