Foundation Wraps More Than Gifts In Delivering 100-Plus Packages For Christmas

WCF Secretary Jim Sackett, New Horizons Elementary School Principal Dana Pallaria, Team Leader Dara Harris, and WCF board members Maggie Zeller, Don Gross and Terri Kane.

The Wellington Community Foundation distributed hundreds of gifts wrapped with an extra dose of care this year. Gift packages were delivered just in time for Christmas to elementary school students in Wellington. The packages included new sneakers, socks, underwear and an age-appropriate toy. “We love working with our area schools to help identify those families who may need a helping hand,” WCF Chair Tom Wenham said.

The foundation partners up with local nonprofit Back to Basics to do the shopping each year. They assist in identifying and organizing, and allow the foundation to shop their warehouse for some of the basics. Maggie Zeller, a board member with both of these nonprofit organizations, heads up this wonderful event each year. This year, new WCF Board Member Terri Kane jumped in to assist with shopping and organizing this huge undertaking.

The foundation also kept it local with the purchase of all the age-appropriate toys by shopping at the Go! Calendars, Toys & Games store at the Mall at Wellington Green. Store Manager Brittany Eskowitz went above and beyond to help the foundation stretch its budget and bring smiles to all of the children on the list. With the assist of choosing age-appropriate toys and a special discount, Eskowitz and the staff at Go! Calendars, Toys & Games really supported the community with holiday spirit.

The foundation also received an assist again from the staff at the Town-Crier newspaper, with each item being wrapped and adorned with a bright holiday ribbon, packaged up and labeled for distribution by some of the foundation board members before the winter school break began.

“This project directly aligns with our mission,” WCF Board Member Barry Manning said. “This is one of those feel-good projects that we look forward to every year.”

This is the seventh consecutive year that the foundation has approved funding for the project, and plans are underway to expand it again in 2023.

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