Every parent’s wish at Christmas is to have presents under the tree for their children. That wish has been met for the past 16 years for the moms and dads who receive services at the LIFE Pregnancy Center.
This has been accomplished through the efforts of the LIFE staff, but primarily through one special volunteer who is affectionately referred to as LIFE’s “Christmas Carol.”
Each Christmas, Carol West orchestrates the Christmas presents for about 120 children. Each baby, born or unborn, as well as the babies’ siblings receive a gender and age specific gift bag. The bag is overflowing with an outfit, shoes, a toy, a book, a stuffed animal, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a blanket for the infants. These presents are thoughtfully put together with Disney or character-related themes. Gifts are accumulated throughout the year from businesses, organizations (i.e., My Sister’s House, Touching Little Lives) as well as individuals.
Carol has been a volunteer at LIFE for about 11 years as the client service coordinator, the lead in the Parenting Classes Program and exemplifies “love in action.” She is responsible for stocking “The Store” at Rose Avenue Community Center with books, bedding, clothing and baby items, such as bouncy seats, swings, highchairs, strollers, etc.
The clients have access to “The Store” where they can exchange their hard-earned “Baby and Store Bucks.” This year over $3,500 in “Bucks” was spent by the parents to acquire the many desired Christmas and baby items for their children.
The children received their presents from Santa himself during a LIFE Christmas Party Celebration on Dec. 14. The party was well-attended by 84 people who also heard the Christmas story presented by Pastor Dan Mclean from the Church of the Nazarene.
Carol is quoted as saying, “I love to see the happy faces of the children as they sit on Santa’s lap and receive their gifts.”
Not only does Carol West make it a very special Christmas every year for the children, she also coordinates the volunteer appreciation party for the LIFE Center staff. This is why Carol deserves the very appropriate title of “Christmas Carol.”