Volunteers Spread Holiday Cheer by Assembling Stockings for Annual “Santa Stops”
After working with Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) as their agency over the past few years, Allison+Partners has had the opportunity to learn a great deal about their mission and values, and has been lucky enough to lend a hand in some of those efforts.
We recently visited PWNA’s Phoenix Distribution Center to volunteer our time and help assemble gift-filled stockings, which are a part of PWNA’s annual holiday services provided to reservation partners around the country. The stockings are delivered to communities annually, including at “Santa Stops” where PWNA’s Native staff members attend in Santa attire to give out the stockings and toys.
Upon arrival, our group of 11 were directed to an assembly line with 800 stockings to fill and a multitude of gifts for kids from pre-school age and older. We lined up and each took responsibility for stuffing a particular gift into each stocking. It only took us a few minutes to find our groove, turn on some great music, and soon we were moving quickly to assemble stockings for hundreds of hopeful children on the reservations. We had a wonderful time spreading Christmas cheer!
Within a few hours of volunteering, we filled all 800 stockings, but this is only a fraction of the thousands of gift bags and stockings PWNA provides annually to children and Elders. In fact, in 2016 PWNA provided holiday stockings for 11,730 Elders and nearly 27,500 children in reservation communities.
Native American Elders receive gift bags with practical items such as socks, a blanket, batteries, personal care products and other supplies. Some communities gather their Elders, families and children for a community-wide Christmas meal, hosted by PWNA’s Program Partners and supported by Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) and Northern Plains Reservation Aid (NPRA), regional programs of Partnership With Native Americans.
PWNA is always looking for volunteers who want to support those in need, from donating monetary gifts to giving time to help stuff stockings and spread a little holiday cheer. If you’re interested in volunteering with PWNA, visit their website at http://www.nativepartnership.org to learn more.
*Guest blogger Elizabeth Zwerin (center of front row) is a Director with Allison+Partners, a top 15 agency known for integrated communications strategies, social impact and cause marketing.