I am well over 70 years old and thought I had seen it all. Miracles? I believe in miracles again.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, two weeks before a party for 1,100, we had no more than 100 gifts in the building and almost 500 angel cards that needed to be taken. Fox 40 News put us on TV that night, and we were in the office until after midnight answering the phones. Channel 3, 10 and 19 followed suit. The avalanche started.
Money came in and cards went out. Michael~David Winery showed up with 100 brand new bicycles, and the next day 18 more came from a church in Clements. Families and groups that normally exchange gifts decided that the best exchange of all was to give their gifts to Lodi Adopt-A-Child. St. Paul Lutheran Church took 137 angel cards and filled them.
Last Sunday night, the outer room was so filled with gifts we were overwhelmed. On Monday, an angel, Gloria, showed up with 20 helpers. By noon Tuesday, every gift in the place was wrapped and placed in the distribution center and every bicycle on hand was assembled. For those few tags that were not taken, volunteers shopped for the needed gift. The Lodi-Tokay Rotary Club provided a service that is absolutely necessary for the distribution of gifts; early, early on party day they transported the gifts from our office to the Boys and Girls Club.
I stand in awe of this community and its response to those kids who don’t have it so good. To all the volunteers in the office, the people who shopped, those who wrapped gifts, those who gave money, those who delivered bikes on a rainy Sunday, Mike and Kelly Lair (Mr. and Mrs. Claus) and all who make this operation work, I send my personal thanks for a job well done.
There are five people who have put in hours and hours of work, all beyond the call of duty; Angie, Jesus, Virginia, Dyanne and Dennis — a special thank you to Jesus who lived in a trailer 24/7 for over a week in bikeland — thank you
May each of you who have reached out and touched these little ones have a merry Christmas and a New Year filled with peace, health and prosperity. God bless!
president, Lodi Adopt-A-Child