It took me standing in a room full of boxes to realize that this Holiday Drive was going to exceed my hopes and expectations.
The next major thing that had to be planned was the sorting and wrapping of the gifts. I knew I had several people standing by - just waiting for me to let them know how to help. I set a date and made some calls. We were ready to roll!
We met on a Saturday, December 16 - Tracy, Nancy, Maurice, Odessa, Monique, and Mark and his family - Izabella and Je'Tone. Rondale was on hand to record some video and Tina came through to take photos.
I've known Mark for several years. He follows me on social media and had seen me posting about the Holiday Drive. He sent a message saying that he wanted to donate some items, but he really wanted to know how he (and his family) could physically lend a hard. This holiday wrapping party was the perfect way to do that. I had met Je'Tone, Marks's girlfriend, in passing a few times, but never had gotten the chance to really talk to her. I was looking forward to that. Additionally, I had never met Izabella, their daughter. She is a JOY! Izabella is an ten-year-old powerhouse!! Smart as a whip, funny, beautiful - I fell in love from her right from the start. She spearheaded the organization of the gifts and jumped right in to the wrapping with two feet.
Maurice, who had been a huge help all throughout the drive, allowed us to use his house for the wrapping party. He made several trips to the post office with me to pick up boxes and he allowed me to store all of the boxes in his home.
My vision of the wrapping party was very festive. Christmas music playing and wrapping gifts. Smiles. Snacks. You know, decking the halls. That was my vision. Of course, that's not what happened.
When I walked into Maurice's house, a Parliament-Funkadelic jam was blasting. And then a James Brown song came on. And the funk just kept on rolling. I rolled right along with it. Not Joy to the World, but hey....
Turns out, the music was perfect, because we all had a funky good time wrapping the gifts for the young people we adopted. We laughed, talked and shared time together. That's really what the Christmas season is about anyway. Nothing is more important than that. And knowing that what we were doing was going to make such a positive impact on the life of a young person just made it that much more beautiful.
With all the gifts wrapped - next up is delivery!! Stay tuned!