Mall shoppers can drop their gifts off at one of two tables, where volunteers will wrap them for a fee.
Proceeds from the annual fundraiser go to the Anniston-based domestic violence agency 2nd Chance.
More of those volunteer gift wrappers are needed to wrap the hundreds of gifts the nonprofit group expects to wrap this year, said Susan Shipman, executive director for the agency.
Shipman said she’d like to draft several talented gift wrappers to help staff the agency’s two tables inside the mall this year, but talent or not, she said, there is plenty of work to be done.
“Somebody’s got to stick the bows, after all, so we have a job for everybody,” Shipman said.
The fundraiser is the largest of the year for the agency, and it’s important for two reasons, Shipman said.
“It’s extremely important for the money we receive,” Shipman said, explaining that the agency can use money raised through the donation for anything the nonprofit needs. Many grants come with stipulations on how the money can be used, she said.
“And the exposure we get in the community is huge,” Shipman said. “There are still people that don’t know anything about 2nd Chance ... so it’s extremely useful for outreach purposes as well.”
Shipman hopes that volunteers will wrap $12,000 worth of presents this year. Last year the agency brought in about that amount through the fundraiser.
The money will be used to help the agency provide shelter, counseling, transportation and legal aid to victims of domestic violence.
The agency’s domestic violence program often saves lives, Shipman said.
“We never know how far domestic violence is going to go. It can start with a little pushing around and name calling and end up in a homicide,” she said. “And there’s not always that continuum between point A and point B.”
There’s not an uptick in victims seeking help because of domestic violence during the holidays, Shipman said, but the agency does see more victims come for help after Christmas.
“We’ll get a surge after the holidays because often times moms will stay because they know that otherwise their children are not going to get what they want for Christmas,” Shipman said. “And the batterer is the provider.”
The agency also holds an adopt-a-family program at Christmas that provides presents to families living in the shelter, and to those that were living there at some point during that year.
“With individuals and businesses in the community, we manage to put that together so that nobody goes without presents at Christmas time if we can help it,” Shipman said.
One of the agency’s gift-wrapping tables is located near Dillard’s department store inside Quintard Mall, and another is near J.C. Penney. Volunteers will wrap gifts anytime the mall is open until Christmas Eve.
Those wishing to adopt a family for Christmas through 2nd Chance or volunteer to giftwrap may call the agency at 256-236-7381.
Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.