‘Tis the season for sharing gifts and spreading Christmas joy and Madge Wilson has been doing so in spades. Wilson, NCC Outreach Coordinator and Board Member, gears up starting in September, reaching out to local parishes, schools, businesses and private donors to drum up toy donations that are distributed to needy families in the days before Christmas. This Christmas, more than 1,000 gifts were donated, according to Wilson.
“Everybody is in the giving spirit this year,” she said. “I get more than 100 calls a day.”
Wilson personally makes each trip to pick up the toys, accompanied by staff from Environmental Services and its truck. True to her nature, 81-year-old Wilson warmly greets each person with a hug, helps load toys onto the truck, and makes sure to send thank you notes afterwards. Administrative Assistant Helen Abraha works closely with Wilson to organize, prepare and distribute the gifts each December.
“It’s like ‘oh, you thought about my family you thought about my child,’” Wilson said of how parents react to receiving the presents, all carefully wrapped and labeled. “The children get so excited—that’s what drives me,” she added.
In addition to the toy drive, Wilson also has a longstanding tradition of picking up donated Christmas trees for the NCC network from St. Paul’s Abbey in Newton. About 20 fragrant Colorado blue spruce trees graced various departments around NCC, which added a festive touch for the holidays.