Students with Noon Exchange Club President and GISD Hispanic Community Liaison, Javier Solis
- Shopping for Christmas Presents for Kids
The good heartedness of “giving back to others” permeates the spirit of the Noon Exchange Club of Garland Texas. Their members organize, host and raise the funds for many community events throughout the year that benefit our youth in so many ways. Primarily, however, they do it by just being themselves--true Americans in the spirit of good-hearted generosity. My two favorite events of the many they host are 1) our Labor Day Parade and 2) their annual Christmas Party. I love it that there are still folks out there who remember and honor the contributions of the working people, the laborers of our nation--in fact, the people who literally built our nation from our farms to our skyscrapers.
The second event they host that I especially love is their annual Christmas Party that benefits 100-150 kids in our City who might not otherwise have a Christmas. Adults from many service organizations and individuals assist them in hosting the Christmas Party; the youth from various high schools in our community who entertain and also assist the younger students for whom the party was hosted. Even the young honored guests themselves get into the act of giving back to others. They color and decorate cards and write messages of appreciation that will be sent to our troops overseas.
Today was one of the many steps in preparing for the Christmas Party--the shopping spree. We all went to a local retailer and were given large plastic sacks with information on a child on the sack--their first name, sizes, and toys or other things like art supplies they had suggested as gifts. I bought for a little girl, age 11--same age as my granddaughter, Erin. Like my granddaughter, she had makeup on her list. As I would for my granddaughter I ignored the request for makeup. Little girls need to stay little girls as along as they can! The other child was a little boy who is 9, like my grandson, Jack.
Another step in preparation for the December Party will be the gift wrapping party. Members and volunteers will get together and wrap each of the presents we purchased today (Each child gets $80 worth of presents--a few practical and a few not.
I love this Christmas Party because it teaches all our youth that we all have gifts to give--no matter who we are, how old or how young. It doesn't smack of "Oh look what we are doing for you." This event teaches the lesson of sharing and the lesson that we all have gifts to give. We have our high school students performing for the younger students--songs, dance, and entertainment. Of course there are the adults--both from our Noon Exchange Club as well as other volunteer organizations who participate. AND as I mentioned before, even the kids for whom this event is planned--they give back too by creating great cards and messages for our service people overseas.
We all have something to give and I appreciate our Noon Exchange Club of Garland for reminding us of this as well as teaching our youth some of the values of what it means to be an American.
A Couple of Shoppers for the Christmas Party
My friend, Yvonne Divine is shopping for a little girl.
Two Noon Exchange Club members of Garland making sure the shopping bags are all kept in order.
Our Friendly Sargent At Arms Noon Exchange Club Member who made sure we kept our purchases within a few bucks of $80 per bag.
And here is my dear, precious friend, and neighbor, Margie.