It’s been said that many hands make light work, which was definitely the case during last Saturday’s packing and wrapping day for the Rhineland Empty Stocking Fund.
Every year, the committee puts out a call for volunteers to help them prepare for the delivery of gifts and groceries to local families in need at Christmas, and community members are always quick and willing to respond.
Dozens of volunteers of all ages showed up at the space beside Pembina Valley Pharmacy to lend a hand with the Scotch tape and the wrapping paper, packing roughly 1,200 gifts for kids aged 18 and under.
An organized team of volunteers also lined the table, and conveyor belt style, packed 180 hampers of food for local individuals and families. The packers and wrappers actually beat their record this year, getting everything done within less than an hour.
Empty Stocking Fund committee chair Cindy Hildebrand says the packers actually got finished before the wrappers this year.
“It was almost like a puzzle. Each box had a very specific spot for everything. Once they started going, it went fast.”
Hildebrand says the kids are always super excited to be a part of it.
“They’re right in there. We don’t even have to tell them what to do. They know they’ll be the runners. They’re going to go pick up presents, they’re going to deliver presents, and they’ll be stacking presents.”
This Saturday, Dec. 14, at 9 a.m. the Empty Stocking Fund will need volunteers again, to help them deliver hampers and gifts to homes across town and the Municipality of Rhineland.
“We need trucks and muscles that morning. Same place, same time.”
Hildebrand says they generally get so many people showing up to help with the delivery, that everybody typically gets one route. “That usually gets done just as quickly and efficiently as the packing.”