Volunteers help wrap gifts for Sertoma Christmas Miracle


Under tables in Suite 211 at Shops at Seymour, cardboard boxes listed the name and address of the recipient of the items inside.

Each toy had a small piece of paper with the first name of the child who would receive it Christmas Eve morning.

Using provided wrapping paper, tape and scissors, volunteers wrapped each individual item, adding a name tag and a bow — if they chose — on the outside.

Once all of the items were wrapped, the box was placed under the sign that listed the area of Jackson County to which it would be delivered.

In recent weeks, volunteers have flurried around the Christmas Miracle Headquarters wrapping gifts ahead of the big delivery morning Friday.

As the gifts came in from people picking paper tags off of Angel Trees at three Seymour locations, the unwrapped items were brought to the headquarters to be sorted.

Jackson County Sertoma Club members were fortunate that once again this year, the volunteer gift wrappers were plentiful.

“Just to see them come out year after year and support the less privileged is fantastic. It’s nice,” said Matt Lorenzo, who has been in Sertoma for three years.

The not-for-profit service organization organizes the annual effort to benefit Jackson County kids ages 12 and under to ensure they receive gifts on Christmas Eve morning. The club is glad to be back to its normal format this year after switching to handing out gift cards in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 250 families, including more than 600 kids, will benefit from the program this year.

While Sertoma members help wrap gifts and do other tasks, they are joined by several local church, school, civic and community groups that volunteer to assist with wrapping.

John Fox, co-chairman of Sertoma Christmas Miracle with Ryan Begley, said there were 11 evening groups, the Purdue Club of Jackson County wrapped three afternoons and five people filled boxes ahead of the wrappers during the day.

When Heather Davis reached out after Thanksgiving about reserving a spot for Chapel Church Seymour to wrap gifts, she said she was told only a few spots remained.

On the night of Dec. 14, she was joined by her husband, Tyler, their daughter, Ellamae, 5, and eight fellow church members in wrapping gifts.

Lewis has been involved with the effort for many years since her father, Scott Davis, is a Sertoma member.

“Now that I have a daughter, I think it’s important that she realizes that impact you can have on a community when you have the ability,” she said. “Not only that, just to be able to have our church community involved in this and their kids and just to get the job done.”

Lee Murphy also brought along his children, Adyrah, 6, and Pierson, 9, to wrap gifts. He was glad Lewis let the church members know how they could help.

“This is my first time being involved with it. I wouldn’t have known about it had she not said anything,” Murphy said. “Honestly, we had a lot going on today, it’s a sacrifice to come, but it’s really good to do it. It’s good to show these guys it’s not just about getting presents. It’s about other people. It’s good to come and help. We just like to help other people.”

While the gift wrapping is completed, volunteers will be needed early Christmas Eve morning to deliver gifts around the county. That will start at 7 a.m. Friday at the headquarters on the far east side of Seymour. Fox said the closer people can get there to 7, the more they can be assured they’ll have boxes to deliver.

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