Thank you to all who helped with the Kids Shopping Spree

To the Expositor:

We thank The Manitoulin Expositor, the Manitoulin West Recorder and 100.7 The Island for the articles about the Kids Shopping Spree on Saturday, December 10, in the Mindemoya United Church Hall. They were such a big help in promoting this first time event, and we appreciated the publicity. Our parking lot was full.

All those taking part were overwhelmed with the joy and spirit of Christmas—the shining eyes, the little voices sharing their lists, the wonderful smiles as they stretched out arms to receive their tickets, and the burst of flying feet towards the tables laden with gifts. Only the smallest of children needed any help picking out their presents for the family. Mom and Dad were invited to the coffee shop while the shoppers hunted for the right presents.

All the people working at the event thought they had the best job. These people were the storekeepers, the personal shoppers, the coffee and tea hosts, the present wrappers, the list recorder, the ticket mistress and the helpers from the United Church and the volunteers from the town who took charge of whatever was needed during the shopping.

For a bunch of green horns planning a first event shopping spree, we had amazing results. Our goal was to get back to that old fashioned joy of giving and thinking of others at Christmas, and likely with a little divine help, it worked.

None of this could have been achieved without the amazing generosity of the Manitoulin community. We do not know who all filled the gift boxes at Jakes, D.A. Williamson and Sons, Foodland, Providence Bay post office, and Bridal Veil Esso, but the staff at these places were as excited as we were when the boxes overflowed. We do not know who all brought gifts and sneaked them on the tables during the event, or those who went home and brought more. We did not hear all the conversations at home about sharing with others, but we know this happened. For the love you shared in giving, we say thank you, thank you, thank you.

We would love to hear the stories about Christmas morning when the presents are opened. We hope that Dad and Poppa will love the teddy bears and stuffed toys wrapped for them. You had better show how happy you are, Poppa!

You may want to know where all the leftover gifts went after everyone went home. We talked about it and decided that you gave us the gifts with the intent of having them given away. That is what happened. They were shared with other Island organizations who were packing and delivering gifts for Christmas.

May you have a blessed time with all your families, and know that you have

contributed to the joy of many other families this Christmas time.

The United Church organizers

Carol MaciIlveen, Willie Munro and Marion Seabrook