Notes from the Director

Below I am sharing segments of past Wrapping Presence updates sent to stakeholders.

— Cheryl Paradiso —

April 2022

Spring is/was upon us, then there was winter again, and spring is back with us. Before long summer will be here too, in all its splendor. Each season brings about change, renewed energy and new experiences. For Wrapping Presence, each season brings forth new tasks and continued energy from many volunteers and crafting has gotten underway, as has shopping, and planning for the 2022 holiday season. 

Since Spring is having a bit of trouble blossoming out to us this year, let us start first with Summer. This year Wrapping Presence will be gathering volunteers for a Christmas in July celebration and a time of thanks on Wednesday JULY, 20, 2022 at the older Pavilion in Holicong Park 6 to 8:30 pm. 5143 York Rd (Rt 202) Buckingham. There will be activities, socializing, and ice-cream!!! If you have been purchasing gifts, writing cards, collecting calendars or gathering gift bags, there will be a collection box available that evening. An RSVP sign up will come out in early June, but please mark your calendars now. 

Now, back to Spring again, and perhaps the snow squalls are finished now. There will be several upcoming crafting sessions where volunteers will help assemble door decorations and pack them away for the late fall distribution time. Last year we distributed just over 1,000 and this year we will be on target for 1100-1200, so we are anxious to get the process rolling along.

January 2022

The 2021 year was a roller coaster for many but I hope that in between the challenges everyone was able to experience positives and find new, creative ways to enjoy family and friends at various times throughout the year. Wrapping Presence was no exception to the need to be creative and innovative in finding ways to deliver the program to our resident bound friends. The creation and implementation of the Gift Catalogue and information spreadsheet that the Activity Directors used to help residents choose gifts, and in turn get the information back to me was a great success. As in years past, the Wrapping Presence program functions only as well as all the volunteers and nursing home staff work together. This year, everyone went above and beyond the call of volunteerism and the results were astounding. We worked with 19 nursing homes, one of which was new to our program this year. Several nursing homes chose not to participate in the gift selection but did enjoy the cards, calendars, cookies, and door decorations. Throughout the two weeks between November 19 and December 1, we pulled, wrapped, tagged, and bagged 1,175 gifts for 512 residents. Door decorations totaled 999; bags of 2 cookies each totaled 1,046; calendars collected totaled 486; and holiday cards written out almost doubled from last year to 6,935!!!!! 

The saying “it takes a village,” has truly been exemplified with this year’s roll out of the Wrapping Presence Program. So many hands worked together, but socially distant, to create door decorations, photograph and create the gift catalogue, create the spreadsheet, write out index cards, count and divide up cards and calendars, create thank you notes and goodies bags for staff, bake cookies, decorate shopping bags, create cards, write out cards, dash out for last minute shopping of requested items, gather to pull gifts, wrap, tag, bag, double check lists, pack the sleighs, drive the delivery sleighs, and keep the spirit of the season first and foremost. For all the hands that helped, for those that could not help but sent good wishes for our success, and mouths that helped support our UNOs fundraiser in the fall, I am truly indebted to you and say a huge THANK YOU! 

I would love to say we will be back in Nursing Homes next year, but I do believe that is a bit too optimistic. This catalogue method did work and hopefully the four nursing homes that were not comfortable to participate in this portion will be on board this coming year. We all look forward to the day we can present the Program in person, as there is a special magic for residents, volunteers and staff alike when we are all together. 

As you are hunkered down for the winter, please take time to gather your card fronts from Christmas cards you have received for our gift tag supply. If you are out and have calendars, cards or gifts to donate, the collection box is still in the DPC vestibule. There will be crafting dates come the late spring for small groups, and there will be an outdoor event to allow us a chance to come together safely for a Christmas in July gathering. There will be some games, decorating, collecting of donations, and of course ice cream with all the fixings! Please look for information and signup geniuses in the Wrapping Presence spring update. We had some new volunteers this year and I hope I have everyone included in the email. If you had a friend join us, please pass this email along and let me know so I can update the master list.

September 6, 2021

Labor Day is upon us and I hope this finds you all well after a good, but soggy summer. Families have been able to visit, fresh air walks without masks have been enjoyed, and life has continued for Wrapping Presence. During the summer we were able to have three days of small crafting groups, and our ever-faithful crafting captains also put in many hours creating door decorations for distribution this holiday season. We were also able to gather a small group to sort and assemble our small gift donations to create the ever-popular gift baskets. Other volunteers have been busy writing out Christmas cards which will be collected to distribute to the nursing homes, along with calendars that have been collected. 

Wrapping Presence will not be able to deliver a holiday gift program as we have known it for the first twenty-five years. There will however be a distribution of chosen gifts for nursing home residents to give to their loved ones. As long as visitors are permitted, we will be working with the Activity Departments to help the residents choose gifts from a catalogue that has been created. With the help of two faithful volunteers a catalogue of gifts in our inventory has been photographed and compiled. The residents will choose a gift from it for each loved one and the Activity Teams will get the information back to me. The information index cards will once again be created, and the gifts pulled, wrapped, tagged, and bagged at Doylestown Presbyterian Church. From there they will be delivered to the Nursing Homes, along with the door decorations, cards, calendars, and — if desired — homemade cookies. 

We will have an UNOs FUNDRAISER day on Tuesday October 19, 2021 --- Patio dining, inside dining or pick up is available. Please join us in saying THANKS to UNOs and Supporting Wrapping Presence!!! 

There will be a Sign-up Genius circulating for help with the wrapping, tagging and bagging of gifts.

There will be a Sign-up Genius for Cookie Bakers.

December 2020

The Fall and December push for Wrapping Presence certainly have taken on a different look for us this year, but we did indeed do what we could to brighten the day for many nursing home residents. This cheer was accomplished thanks to many helping hands. The arms of Wrapping Presence have reached far and wide, as the call for Christmas cards to residents was answered by so many. More than 4,300 cards were collected and divided up between the 1,600 residents of the 16 nursing homes that the Wrapping Presence program serves. The cards were lovingly created by students, written out by Marne herself (who is doing so well), and many other individuals were collected by other church groups and sorted by caring hands. In addition to the cards, there were 573 calendars collected. A group of dedicated bakers each helped to create and bag up 645 bags of cut out cookies that some of the nursing homes requested as a special treat for residents. While ovens were heating, sewing machines and glue guns were also busy creating hundreds of door decorations that were added to last year’s surplus to make a grand total of 923 door decorations distributed. The sleigh (AKA my van) was loaded with all the goodies, and a goodie bag of fruits and sweets for the staff of each nursing home and thus contactless deliveries were made to the nursing homes. The Activity Directors were over the moon with amazement and gratitude that people cared so much about their residents

April 2020

Welcome to 2020 and the beginning of the 26th year of providing joy and special memories to home bound nursing home residents during the December holidays. Many people, who are just hearing about Wrapping Presence, think it is an organization that comes to life for a few weeks each year during December. We all know better, as we are in elf mode 12 months, year in and year out. This year has gotten off a very unique start and has left our community, our country and the entire world in a turmoil. Hopefully each of you and your families are safe and well. The residents in all the nursing homes we visit have caring, compassionate staff and our thoughts and prayers are the best help we can offer today to lift up to them. Please know we are all in this together and we will come through it together, and stronger. 

As many of you know from our wonderful 25th anniversary celebration luncheon in January, Marne decided to make the 25th anniversary celebration her farewell. We cannot thank her enough for all of her wonderful gifts and love she dedicated to Wrapping Presence since this idea of hers blossomed into the organization we have today. Even though we will all miss Marne’s energy and inspiration, Wrapping Presence will continue on for many years to come and the essence of Marne will be part of every facet of the organization. 

One change you will notice is that due to the size of our caring volunteers, like you, we are going to move some of our administrative tasks into computer technology. This will enable us to speed up communications to all of you. Please know that if anyone does not have internet capability there will still be mail going out and there will be still be some information that is mailed to everyone. The most vital arm of Wrapping Presence is our volunteer core and we will be sure we reach every finger of our volunteer arm. 

Now back to taking Wrapping Presence into the next decade. When you have received this note, we would appreciate, if you are able to, send an email to: with the following information: 

Name, email address, mailing address, home phone, cell phone, and the year you became a Wrapping Presence volunteer. IF NO EMAIL, CALL MY HOME AND LEAVE INFO ON MY MACHINE 215-766-9399

This will help tremendously in updating our volunteer data base. Thank you. Be safe, be happy, and share a phone call of kindness with one another each day.
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