Kids shopping night gets youths in holiday spirit
Northborough – The holiday spirit was alive and well Dec. 3 as local children spent the evening looking for presents for loved ones at the annual Kids Shopping Night held in the Town Hall Gym.
The event was organized by the Junior Women’s Club and the Food Pantry and has been an ongoing Christmas tradition in the town of Northbor- ough. Lead organizer Barbara Garner first began the idea 10 years ago and has been thrilled with how the tradition has continue to grow and expand.
“We really tried to have it be a community eff ort,” Garner said.
Children of parents who shop at the Pantry were able to browse the gym in search of items to give to family relatives. Twenty-five children participated, each taking away four to six items. Garner thinks the children really got into serious shopping mode.
“They stand by the door and they get so excited,” Garner said. “Especially this year, you can tell the kids feel this is their opportunity to do something nice on Christmas Day. It makes them feel important. It allows them to give something to someone that they love, where they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do it any other way.”
The event included many volunteers from the Women’s Club, who were the primary donors of the gift items, as well as members of the community. Members were assigned to each child to help pick out the perfect gift. Gifts were wrapped following the selections. It was a great showing of community outreach by those taking part.
“The Junior Women’s Club and their volunteers really helped out,” Garner said. “They see a need and they help out.”
It has been a rewarding experience for Garner. Starting this event 10 years ago, it was a simple idea and now has become hand-in-hand with the Christmas tradition in Northborough. She was thrilled to see the idea continue to grow and receive the support from the community.
“When we first started, it was just one picnic table,” she said. “Five, maybe less than that, came the first time. Now it’s expanded to Town Hall and a lot more tables. There is such a variety and people are so generous.”
As for the donated items, they came from throughout the region. Garner has remained impressed with how much people are willing to support this kind of event.
“There is never any trouble [getting donations],” she said. “Sometimes you might think you have to twist an arm, but you never have to for this.”
Working with the Food Pantry, Garner has been able to have the full aff ect she was hoping for. The Recreation Department and their generous off er to have the event take place in the Town Hal Gym, contributed to an all-around successful night.
“(Food Pantry Director Sue Seppa) and the Food Pantry helped as much as they could,” said Garner. “Allison Lane and the Recreational Department were also great to work with
“It was a coordinated eff ort, definitely.”
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