Volunteering at the Christmas Shop

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(Host) Many Vermonters find ways to help others, especially at this time of year.

One volunteer is Marguerite Holden, who’s a native of Middlebury.

She’s worked in the Christmas Shop at the Addison County Community Action Group for many years.

Last year, when Vermont Public Radio interviewed Vermonters on the “giving spirit,” Marguerite Holden talked about why volunteering is important to her.

(Holden) “Many of the parents say to us: If it wasn’t for the Christmas Shop we would have nothing for Christmas, so it’s a very moving experience for us. When a mother and father come in we give them a new toy, and a new piece of clothing. Then they are entitled to a pair of mittens, a hat, a scarf, a sweater a book, sometimes two then miscellenous items for their stocking presents.”

“I remember one little boy he had never had a Christmas thus far and he was seven years old. And so we got together a real large bag and we gave him trucks, and books and coloring books and crayons, and games and a ball and a pillow and a blanket I wish I’d seen it myself when he opened it up!” [Laughs]

“The thing I remember most – one young man came in, he said he needed knitted scarves to wrap his body in because he said he was sleeping in a car. Around his neck was so cold. So I found him quite a number of scarves But he said I better not take them all, that’s not fair to other people.”

“Sometimes when we get done, somebody will hug us or cry, and it does make tears come to our own eyes because it is a touching experience. But it’s tears of joys really.”

“Oh I keep doing this because I like to reach out and touch the lives of other people. I get so thrilled by that. I became the chairperson for 12 years and then I retired, and now I’m just a volunteer in the Christmas Shop.”

(Host) Marguerite Holden on volunteering at the Christmas Shop in Middlebury.

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