One of my favorite holiday traditions

Even though this is by far one of my favorite things to do at the holidays, I haven’t had a chance to participate in about 4 years. After finding out that we had lost my grandparents, I knew that we were going to be home for the giveaway and I was so excited for this part of the trip.

The Salvation Army Christmas Giveaway was something that my aunt and her family started doing 30 + years ago. Our family started probably about 10 years ago and while I lived at home, I participated in the year round sorting of the toys for the toy shop. Then on the day of the giveaway, we were there for the whole day actually working the giveaway. Back then my job was simply to pull boxes that of toys from the warehouse that were needed in the back room before going to the tables to be given away. This year, I had the opportunity to actually work one of the tables.

The setup for the giveaway starts on the Sunday before the giveaway. We sorted through toys that had not been sorted, moved boxes to where they were needed and generally got an idea for what the giveaway would look like for this year.

Wednesday, we went back to sort more toys and set up the tables with toys on them. We got this done a lot faster then what we thought we would due to the number of people that we had helping. Friday started the giveaway, of course, after sorting more toys that had come in during the past couple of days.

Friday night there were about 200 families that came through to select toys for their children along with picking up Angel tree gifts and bags of food. Some families were even lucky enough to get a new bike for the family to share.

It is tradition to go out for pizza on Friday night after everything is wrapped up. Since it just happened to be Sean’s birthday as well, I made his cupcakes and took them with us to share with everyone. (We probably really embarrassed him, too, with everyone singing “Happy Birthday”.)

Then it was up early on Saturday morning to start the giveaway again. I think that there were about 400 families that came through that day. I worked the same table as I had the night before, 1-2 year olds. Of course they put me on that table since we are expecting! I was able to sneak a few pictures in throughout the day too.


This was the first time that Sean had ever worked the giveaway and I am glad that he was finally able to see what all happens, especially since I have talked about this a lot in the last couple of years and how much I missed being home for this event. I really do love this family tradition and miss not being there with everyone each year. It was a lot of fun to be there with the whole family this year too. Grandma and Grandpa just had to call in the troops to be there to help! 

This last picture is of my mom and aunt being interviewed on the news. Someone told them about what happened in the previous days and the news decided to do a story on the whole family. It’s just a bummer that they didn’t come on Friday night because they would have gotten my cousin and her kids in it as well. Here is a link to the story.Untitled

I hope that we will be able to go home in a few years to help again with our little one in tow.

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  1. […] This year I think it was a keeper and many people had the opportunity to eat his cupcakes since we were back home in Indiana and working the Salvation Army giveaway. […]

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