YORKTOWN, N.Y. Whether you call the people who work behind the scenes for the holidays "elves" or "volunteers," there were several of them helping to make the season brighter since August in Yorktown.
Troop leaders and volunteers from the Girl Scouts of Yorktown created a list with the help of social workers from local school districts of families who needed help this holiday season. The organizers then disbursed lists of what children wanted for the holidays and certain families, individuals or entire troops adopted a child or family for the holiday with the task of buying them presents. This process came to fruition this past week, when the leaders and volunteers saw the masses of nearly 1,000 donated gifts.
But this wasn't the end, explained organizer Deborah May as there were still hours and hours worth of work to be done before the toys were picked up as the volunteers all pledged to wrap and sort the gifts as well.
"They don't ask for frivolous things, they ask for real things that they can get use out of," May said. "We all work it out and work together to fill what's on the lists. Whether it's toys or something like dish detergent, we realize that people need help and we can help them."
Volunteer Julia Liucci said the Girl Scouts who go shopping for the gifts learn from it too.
"They are just so excited to be involved, to really help out in their community," she said. "They know what they like or needed at a specific age so they like knowing something they pick out will help someone else."
May said with the help of the Internet, she is able to keep in touch with all the volunteers and troop leaders and can always reach out to the community of volunteers that have formed to complete the lists.
"These are our neighbors. Many think that people in this community wouldnt need or want for things, but these people do, and they need our help," she said. "But what's great is our girls and the volunteers always step up to the place to help out."
With the operations growth, the number of volunteers and donations has also expanded, and so have the number of those in need.
"I think it's a sign of the times that the number of families who need help around the holidays keeps increasing," she said. "But at the same time, people always help and as the number of families grow, we are always able to get more donations."
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