Some members of the Holiday Project committee gather around Santa as they take a short break on Thursday, Dec. 6, during the Holiday Project giveaway. Front, from left, Lindsey Parton, Terrie Woodsmall, Cari Pointer, Santa, Mary Ann Piper and Tina Howard. Back, from left, Melissa Pointer, Barb Eilers, Sandy Hisle, David Grossenburg, Rebecca Early and Jacci Grossenburg.(Kelsey Alumbaugh/Democrat-News) [Order this photo]
Volunteers were not in short supply for the annual Holiday Project on Thursday, Dec. 6.
"Today, we've probably had 180 today. About that yesterday, too, probably," Lindsey Parton, committee member, said.
"It's a big turnout. I think we'll end up with around 350 to 360 families," Sandy Hisle, chair of the committee, said. "A lot of local schools send (volunteers) and we have a lot of volunteers that have been doing it for years. They just take days off from work to come and help."
Toys were sorted by age group and gender for participants of the 2012 Holiday Project to choose from on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Martin Community Center.
Each family has a volunteer push the cart beside them as they go through rooms at the Martin Community Center to get supplies.
"We try to give them groceries, you know, for a few meals and then each family gets toys for their children. New toys for their children and used toys for the child," Hisle said. "We try to give them paper products. ... And there's stuffed animals and books, and they can take as many of those as they want."
The Holiday Project is run on donations from the community.
Books lined the wall of the waiting room as participants of the 2012 Holiday Project waited for their number to be called on Thursday, Dec. 6. There was no limit to the amount of books a participant could take.
"Basically that's what we survive on," Hisle said. "Everything (that is donated to the project) is given away and anything we don't use we give to the food pantry."
The project wouldn't be possible without all the donated goods and volunteered time.
"It really has pretty much been the same crew, and they all have their jobs," Mary Ann Piper, committee member, said. "Everybody works as such a good team. That's what makes the whole project work. I just can't say enough about the volunteers and, really, the Holiday Project committee."
Stuffed animals were stacked on the makeshift box shelves in the waiting room at the 2012 Holiday Project on Thursday, Dec. 6. Participants could take as many stuffed animals as they pleased.
The set up for the Holiday Project was Wednesday, Dec. 5, and the actually giveaway was Thursday, Dec. 6.
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After their number was called, participants were escorted by a volunteer who pushed their cart through a room full of groceries and a room full of toys at the Martin Community Center on Thursday, Dec. 6. The amount any given participant received was based on the size of the family.