The Mckinleyville Lions Club are hosting their 15th year of their Winter Express, an event that is all about giving back to the community.
Pat Thomas, the secretary for the Lions Club, explained what has been missed for almost two years, and what kids should expect during their trip to the club’s center. Thomas also told Redwood News the origins of this special event.
“During these four days, we’ll have some 700 children come through who can choose gifts for their loved ones, they’ll also have an opportunity to get a photo with Santa, get their gifts wrapped and have a snack,” Thomas said. “As a service club, we’re particularly interested in vision health and so it grew out of our work with children and knowing that there’s a lot of need at the holidays.”
Gifts ranging from toys, puzzles, household items, jewelry, decorations, and more are displayed around the center. The Lions Club helps serve school children from around the county, in hopes they can bring home a few gifts to their loved ones.
“These are donations from the community, and we cover all of the schools within our area Dow’s Prairie, Morris, Fieldbrook, Trinidad and Orick.”
And during the rest of the week, McKinleyville high school volunteers or, “elves,” help make sure kids pick the right presents to put under the tree. Kierlyn Guynup, a volunteer, shared her thoughts on helping out.
“I remember being a little seven or eight year old being able to be the kid, going around and getting presents for my parents as siblings,” Guynup said. “Now I’m giving back and helping the kids get down the stairs and pick out the perfect gifts for their family.”