By Lila Johnson, Mill Creek Garden Club Publicity Chair, December 15, 2020.
Nearing the end of what some could arguably call a “Bah Humbug” year, Mill Creek Garden Club delivered Christmas spirit. Wondrously we did have help from the jolly guy in the red suit and a merry band of Masked Elves.
Traditionally our December meeting is a party that includes members bringing toys to be distributed to a local charity, but with no meeting, no party, no caroling, no Mimosas and no Christmas lunch, the Club got creative. With “Merry Christmas” on our lips, there would be no “stake of holly through our collective heart.”
Our officers organized a One-Day toy drive to benefit Toys for Tots. Member Nancy Hedges graciously offered her large driveway for the December 10th drop off. On that morning, the magic commenced: a canopy appeared in case of rain, sleet, or snow; tables were festooned in holiday red; a festive hand lettered “TOYS 4 TOTS” sign was positioned for all to see; and the aforementioned Jolly Red Suit & Masked Elves materialized at the appointed hour. Christmas spirit was abundant, and Mother Nature cooperated too!
On a dry, but chilly day Garden Club members arrived in cars, SUVs, and trucks where they were greeted by our merry crew who unloaded the vehicles and put the toys on the waiting tables. It didn’t take long for the tables to overflow with dolls, games, art supplies, stuffed animals, mittens, books, trucks, a basketball and more.
On a heartfelt note, a young family with three children strolled by and with wondering eyes were so touched by the scene, they sprang into action only to return with toys to be donated. A lesson in Giving for those children. Good job, Mom and Dad. As a surprise, our donating members received a small gift bag with 10 darling, hand-made gift tags and chocolate candies. Not sugar plums, but unexpectedly sweet!
Still wearing the Red Suit, our jolly helper with a truck full of toys, dashed away to the Toys for Tots warehouse in Everett. She reported there were many volunteers to unload everything, and quite surprisingly some children were helping.
She commented, “It's one thing to dress up as Santa’s helper and wave at people from a distance, but quite different when children want to tell you what they want for Christmas and take pictures, so I didn't want to disappoint and had to act the part. A very fulfilling day for me. Feels good to put smiles on the faces of those kids. We have a remarkable group of generous women in this club. I feel very blessed to be a part of it.”
This is the perfect place to end; a “Bah Humbug” year gets crushed by Garden Club’s Christmas Spirit.
This thoughtful family returned later in the day with toy donations. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.