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Every year, the Cedar Valley JayCees organize the Gift of Giving. This is an event where children and volunteers join together to make the holidays happy. Children are provided the opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts for family that they may not have been able to purchase otherwise.
The children are selected as the JayCees work with school counselors, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club to identify up to 100 children to participate in this event. Since 2012, our Cedar Falls Rough Risers club has been a partner in this event. We provide a cash donation and provide breakfast for the participants.
The event began at 6:30 on December 3. Ninety-six children and over 100 volunteers gathered at the Waterloo UAW hall. Each child was paired-up with an adult for his/her upcoming adventure. The culinary volunteers went to the kitchen to begin preparing breakfast.
Once the teams were created, they climbed aboard school buses to venture over to Blaine's Farm and Fleet in Cedar Falls. At the store, the shopping teams were given $40 credit to shop for presents for their family. This is a process where the children (and the volunteers) learn a great deal about "stretching a buck." (I (Leigh Zeitz) helped my student purchase gifts for 7 family members and we had 2 cents left over =-)
After the shopping was completed, the shoppers climbed back on the bus to return to the UAW to wrap presents and eat breakfast. The breakfast was cooked and served by our own Kiwanis Rough Risers. Lots of food and Lots of fun!!!
This event is a highlight of the year. It is an opportunity for us to enjoy the company of excited kids and for us to really get the feeling of the holidays.
Visit the JayCees' site for more information about The Gift of Giving