Gift wrapping fairies: Our Community Cares helps with present pain

Our Community Cares volunteers wrapping presents at Westfield. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Though there are so many highlights of the holiday season, everyone has their least favourite part, and for many, it’s wrapping gifts.

Our Community Cares is making the process easy once again this year, and all it takes is a gold coin donation.

According to Kris Gauci, the charity’s gift wrapping initiative is one of her favourites every year.

“People are always so kind and generous around here, and we always have a good time and a laugh,” she said.

“The people who volunteer with us always make our day, they’re so fantastic.”

After successfully raising enough money to buy laser equipment for Nepean Hospital through the initiative last year, allowing premature babies with retinal issues to stay close to home and have the necessary operations onsite, Gauci has shifted her focus to another item on the hospital’s wish list for this Christmas season.

“This year, we’re going to be raising funds for 20 sofa beds at Nepean Hospital,” she said.

Kris Gauci speaking with journalist Cassidy Pearce. Photo: Megan Dunn.

“We’ll be doing the neurology unit, emergency, palliative care, and one of the children’s wards, and if we’ve got money left over, we’ll be buying more for other different wards – as many as we can get!”

As far as how it all works, Gauci said it’s fairly simple, with the Our Community Cares elves prepared to do just about anything to ensure you’ve got beautiful gifts under the tree this Christmas, for just a gold coin donation per item.

“They bring their presents in, some people bring trolleys, and they can leave them while they go to work or have coffee and lunch, and we wrap them and put a bow on them if they want,” she said.

“They can also put stickers on them, and we’ll re-sticker them with the name on a gift tag, then they just come and pick them up!”

Getting your gifts wrapped for you can be a game changer.

“I think people these days are just time poor, and they just want someone to do that sort of thing for them,” she said.

“Gone are the days where you sit up on Christmas Eve and wrap all your presents, right?”

Gauci also assured no gift is too big or complex, as they’ve just about seen it all.

“One time we had one of those big plastic sandpit shells, and that was absolutely unbelievable,” she said.

“Last year or the year before, we had a trapezium, it was like a dollhouse almost, and it had all these things and was the weirdest shape. It was so hard to wrap, but we did it, and the customer was very happy! We can do anything!”

But, for the expert gift wrappers out there, Gauci said they can always use an extra set of hands.

“We’re always looking for volunteers, and we’ve still got a few shifts that they can fill in for,” she said.

Our Community Cares will have elves set up at two locations at Westfield, as well as at Nepean Village, every day until Christmas Eve.

To volunteer, this year call 0403 197 952.

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