I drive past Coastside Hope several times a week with my School District work and Natalie’s Dance class. I volunteered a few times in the past with Sacramento Food Bank Services, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and whenever I passed by Coastside Hope, I figured I would also enjoy volunteering with them as well (#16 on my list).
When I called and inquired as to how I could help, I was greeted by a very enthusiastic and grateful staff person, who quickly explained how they were in desperate need of someone to spend all their monetary donations and turn it into Christmas gifts. Say what? You want me to go on a Shopping Spree? Sign me up!
I was sent a list of several anonymous people and age groups to shop for, and was sent off to Target. Now, don’t think that this Non Profit handed me a credit card. No no. I simply had to submit my receipt and got a reimbursement right then and there. Apparently this very affluent town, as it was explained to me, sends lots of money to Coastside Hope out of the goodness of their hearts and for Tax Write Off purposes, but not as many people had the time to do the shopping part. Funny, it seemed so easy to shop for these people. Whereas I sometimes agonize over each and every gift I give to my family.
Natalie was a good sport for it, and I let her pick out her own treat since it was a little tough on her to see the shopping cart fill up with so much beautiful girls things and not having any of it be for her. On the flipside, Natalie seemed very eager to volunteer as well, and loved the idea of helping wrap gifts. I can’t wait until she is a little bit older and is able to really get involved in charities of her choice.
The second part of this Holiday effort is to wrap each and every gift. There were several time slots to sign up for over the course of the week. Let’s just say I was super impressed by how well organized this group is, but I suppose that’s what happens when you do this year after year. Coastside Hope is a well oiled machine, and I am definitely looking forward to helping out more often!