If you had your Christmas gifts wrapped at Station Mall’s gift wrapping centre this season, chances are you’ll recognize Mayla Brauner and Myril Lynn Brason-Lediett.
This marked the first year volunteers from the Steelton Senior Centre (now based out of the Northern Community Centre) haven’t done gift wrapping at the mall, handing over the convenient service they provided to volunteers from the Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH) and the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site (commonly and affectionately known as the Old Stone House).
“We talked to the mall management and we decided we would take it on for this year and see how it worked for us. We partnered with ARCH and between our volunteers and their volunteers we filled up our time so we had people here wrapping gifts during mall business hours,” said Myril Lynn, an Old Stone House volunteer.
Approximately 30 ARCH/Old Stone House volunteers began wrapping gifts for Christmas shoppers in the last week of November and worked right up to Dec. 24 in the former Madonna Optical store space.
“The last two weeks before Christmas was very busy,” Myril Lynn said.
“I did this for six years with the seniors group and I enjoyed doing it. I’ve always enjoyed wrapping gifts for my family and others, so when an opportunity arose to help out a group of which I’m a volunteer, and to wrap gifts, it was the best of both worlds for me,” Myril Lynn said.
“I’ve also gotten some good gift ideas from people who bring things in to be wrapped and I ask them, ‘what’s this, where did you get that?’” she chuckled.
Station Mall did not charge the group for rental of the gift wrapping space.
There were different fees for the gift wrapping, depending on the size of the gift, ranging from two to ten dollars, more if the gift was larger than usual.
“A couple of years ago, for the seniors group, I wrapped a double sink. It was huge. That was fun to wrap. We had to clear off the table,” she laughed.
On top of paying the gift wrapping fees, Christmas shoppers left donations.
“People have been very generous with donations. Some will come in with a six dollar item to wrap, give us a twenty dollar bill and say ‘keep the change.’ It’s been very nice.”
All proceeds (except for reimbursement to the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site for provision of gift wrapping paper and other supplies) went to the historic site and ARCH in a 50-50 split, to go toward programs and services at both organizations.