Thursday, December 22, 2016

Your Gifts Made a Difference

I learned a lot from last year's holiday party at Veterans Village.

I learned that it was not a good idea to hand out wrapped presents and hope they would all be somehow equal and pleasing.

I learned that what the Veterans really wanted  (towels, sheets, gift cards slippers, posh candy, pajamas and robes) wasn't quite in line with what good-hearted people gave me to give them. You don't even want me to make a list of shame here people, don't even.

This year I made a list of suggested donations and it worked out fantastically.

Volunteers dropped donations by and mailed them and sent them to me from their daughter to my daughter. I know a few of you out there weren't able to get your donation to me in time -- don't worry,  not a single Veteran left the event empty handed, please save it for the Spring Fling donation drive you didn't know you were going to help me with.

Here is an incomplete list of people who dropped donations by my office, compiled entirely from the sticky notes etc that I found on the gifts.
That's my office door.

Here is a picture of donations that came via mail, daughters and etc. Soft blankets, special treats, gift cards to Publix, Walmart, Panera and Starbucks.

 I'm not sure if she wants everyone to know, but one of my AXO sisters from Loyola sponsored 10 Veterans AND sent a donation to entirely cover two upcoming Thursday night dinners.

Amazing, right?

This is a picture of my kitchen counter, collecting donations and gift cards.

So today, the day of the event, I met one of my students in my office and we sorted and counted the donations.

We talked through how things could go that would be better than last year and decided to make 4 stations: 1) gift cards 2)  towels 3) sheet sets 4) a bonus item (slippers, posh chocolate, robes).

This helped us figure how to package and repackage the gifts and load them into our cars.
This is me with a car full of sheets, slippers and  posh chocolate goodies.

Once we got to Veterans Village we were joined by other TCC community volunteers and once we were all set up the goodies went so fast I seriously could not get more pictures than you see below.

Tonight's Elves

Rows of thick towels, the extra large nice ones, all ready for Veterans to take a pick.
This is the bonus pick car. Slippers, robes, posh chocolate.

I was so busy talking to the Veterans and moving them through the stations that I have no pictures of the lovely  dinner of comfort food and individual cheesecakes being served upstairs by two other TCC faculty.

There was a lot of laughing, a lot of hugging, and even a few men walking around proudly in lovely new robes and such.

Your gifts made a difference.

Thank you thank you thank you to all of you who helped this year.

Thank you to all of you who helped in the past and a special thank you those of you who are plotting how you can help in 2017.