(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The United Way of Greater St. Joseph is getting into the holiday spirit by giving back, but they're not doing it alone.
Saturday was national United Way family volunteer day, and the St. Joseph branch participated by inviting families of two or more generations to come and help gift wrap presents for children in need.
"I think this is a great way for families to get to volunteer together," Kylee Strough, United Way of Greater St. Joseph President, said.
Over a dozen families, or about 35 individuals, participated in the event. The organization wrapped 600 books which they will donate to kids in programs like the AFL-CIO's Adopt-A-Family.
"You have to start early teaching your children that it's important to get out in the community and to share your abundance with people who maybe don't have as much," Luci Gnitt, volunteer, said.
The giving didn't stop there. Volunteers also made bookmarks that will be handed out to kids with birthdays this holiday season who are in local shelters like the YWCA or the Salvation Army.
All of this was made possible to United Way after they recieved a grant from the Walt Disney Company and GenerationOn.
"We made application and kind of sold them [grant givers] on our project idea, and was awarded a grant that helped cover the cost of the books that we'll be giving away and the wrapping materials," Strough said.
This was the first year United Way put on the event, but the organization hopes it won't be the last.
Those who participated said they enjoyed volunteering and spending time with their family.
"It's important to be able to spend that time with him [Gnitt's son] and teach him that it's important to give back and to help other kids who may not have a great Christmas," Gnitt said.
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