http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/12/14/wrap-a-gift-help-a-child


Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 14, 2012

Wrap a gift, help a child

Station at mall benefits The Taylor Family Foundation

by Jamie Altman

This time of year, just about every place you look, there's a person ringing a bell, exchanging the cheery ring and greeting for a donation. A local group is just as happy to take your money, and gives you something in return.

The Taylor Family Foundation (TTFF) is wrapping gifts at Stoneridge Shopping Center this holiday season in exchange for a $5 donation, and it is still looking for volunteers. All proceeds go toward its summer camp for children with life-impairing diseases. Camp Arroyo in Livermore allows these children to attend for free.

"Camp Arroyo is the last and only chance these kids get to have normal activity in life," said Operations Coordinator Jeannette Gibson. "We really do provide the opportunity for them to forget about their illnesses, at least for the summer."

Camp Arroyo is available for children with diseases including HIV, AIDS, cancer and diabetes, to skin diseases, heart conditions, autism and even the loss of loved ones.

Gibson recalled a mom of a camper who approached her in tears.

"My daughter is never the same after camp," said the mother. "She keeps getting stronger and stronger."

Last year, the foundation raised almost $10,000 from wrapping gifts. The station is located on the bottom floor of the mall directly outside of Nordstrom; volunteers will be working every day, right up through Christmas Eve.

The Taylor Family Foundation is still looking for new gift-wrapping volunteers.

"There is still space to fill," Gibson said. "If someone is interested in gift wrapping or helping others, there is always room open."

"I've always loved working with people who have disabilities, and I love serving others," she added. "TTFF, more than any other organization I've worked for, does that in such a profound way."

To volunteer, call the foundation at 455-5118.

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