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Amesbury Holiday Elves – Innovating too

These wonderful people for a number of years have been so giving of their time for the benefit of less fortunate families and children. Their efforts start every year in August and continue until mid-December. Many people can be generous with their money, but not at the expense of their time and effort. This holiday celebration blends the financial ability of some families with the need of other families, and all brought together through the tireless efforts of a group of volunteers. In prior years, it included determination of specific needs of these families and the children and resulted in specific gifts in specific sizes being purchased. CI Works has been pleased to host the organization and gift distribution efforts concluding this wildly successful effort.

COVID 2020 did not cooperate either and the organizers needed to innovate beyond a successful formula. This year, families are in even greater need of this generosity. The volunteers were not able to meet regularly to plan and execute and needed to adapt a virtual model. People have also been more reluctant to actually go out and shop. The elves adopted gift cards from specific stores as an alternative to be able to provide to these families and their children. The planning, organizing, shopping, wrapping, packaging, and high touch distribution was gone, but the results were similar to prior years with over one hundred families benefitting by having gifts under a Christmas tree, that otherwise may not happen.

Congratulations to these wonderful people, who prefer to remain way under the publicity radar, who are a huge benefit to their community. So, by innovating, they may very well have come up with an operating model which is easier for the participating volunteers, and will be useful in coming years. I am betting however that they will return to the model of purchasing specific gifts needed by the families and their children, wrapping them to go under Christmas trees, and creating a post-COVID tradition.

Thank you for all of your efforts and making the holidays special. Also, special thanks to Peter Cronin for preparing the holiday village Lego display to inject some spirit.

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