During finals week, I took a trip to The Salvation Army with two of my sisters and another McDaniel student that was interested in doing community service. As soon as I heard about this project, I was very excited about it and really wanted to go. Even though it was right before the day I had a final and a presentation, I still thought it would be a blast!
The biggest challenge was fitting all of the donations into our cars. We had bags and bags of stuffed animals and a few boxes of books that we were bringing to donate when we volunteered. Because of this, even though there were only four of us going, we still had to take two cars since my trunk and backseat were stuffed! After arriving and bringing in all of our donations, we were led to a huge warehouse. The warehouse was filled with boxes, each with a number on them and names and ages of children in the family. We were given a short orientation by Peggy, the volunteer coordinator. We had to pick a box, which represented a family, then go “shopping” in the bins of toys. Our goal was to try and find toys that the children asked for, but if we couldn’t find them, we chose toys for them that were age appropriate. We also had to put clothes into the boxes. Each child was given one or two outfits, a pair of shoes, and a coat if they asked for one. Some of the families also asked for socks, underware, and pajamas. It was so much fun to go through the boxes of clothes, which were all donated, and pick out outfits for the children. My favorite outfits I picked out were for a 10 year old girl. I picked out jeans, a Cinderella t-shirt, Disney Princess pajamas, Disney Princess socks, pink shoes, and a pink coat! The hardest thing to figure out were the shoes. Since I don’t have any younger siblings, I had no idea how to understand children’s shoe sizes!
Overall, the project was a lot of fun. I loved looking through all of the toys and picking out items for the children, especially because I know that the children I was sorting toys for do not have very much, so they will be grateful for anything that they are given. I was shocked that there were so many toys to choose from. A lot of the toys were newer toys and I know that some of them are very expensive! It touches my heart to see so many donations that will help children in need have something to open on Christmas morning. My hope is that people will not just walk past the people from the Salvation Army ringing bells outside stores this holiday season! Those donations go to helping children have something to open on Christmas!