8 Days Until Christmas!!!!
I was pretty excited about today’s giving because I’ve been meaning to volunteer with Glide Memorial Church for ages and just never got around to actually doing it. Glide Memorial is a Methodist church in the Tenderloin Neighborhood of San Francisco. They’ve been around since the 1930s and are well-known for their extensive work within the community to alleviate poverty. They’re very well known for giving out about three quarters of a million free meals every year, and also have numerous other programs in the Tenderloin. Ian once did a radio piece on how they provided dental care to the homeless.
Around the holidays Glide provides those who struggle with free meals, grocery bags, and toys. Their volunteer time slots fill up well in advance this time of year, so I made sure to sign up early to help out with their Toy Sort & Toy Giveaway. On Saturday they will give away thousands of donated toys to boys and girls ages 0-11 in the community. All this week they’re sorting the toys into piles and putting them in bags so the toys are easily distributed.
My friend Caitlin once again joined me for this activity, and it was great to have a friend along to chat with. We were responsible for picking up bags that had specific age/gender tags on them (for example, G 1-3 is for a girl aged 1-3). It turns out that Caitlin has the taste of an 8-11 year old boy, while I apparently am committed to every child receiving some sort of art activity. This is the first year that they are trying “gender-neutral” bags, which I thought was great because there were so many toys that both little boys and little girls could enjoy. In fact, I got into a semi-heated debate with the organizer over whether Thomas the Train is more popular with little boys or little girls. I can’t help but believe that little girls are also in Thomas. I don’t know though – I have all nephews!
Regardless it was fun to “shop” for the bags and pick out good combinations of toys to give each child. Each bag was supposed to have one large/main gift, one smaller gift, a toothbrush, and either a plush toy for the little kids or a board game for the older kids. We totally projected our own interests on what we chose, but Caitlin and I both have excellent taste in toys so I think that there will be some excited little kids on Saturday.
Overall this was a pretty fun volunteer activity and I was glad to finally get a chance to volunteer with Glide. I’m hoping to sign up for one of their meal shifts in the new year. And a thousand thanks to Caitlin for joining me again – you are the best 25 Days buddy!