Noble Studios’ Lindsay Alford plays an active role in the Rotary, an international service organization. The Rotary’s mission is “service above self” and each year the organization holds several events to help those in need. Lindsay’s favorite Rotary event of the year is Santa Clothes.
By Lindsay Alford, Internal PR & Social Media Strategist
Imagine heading to school in clothes that don't fit. A couple holes in your jeans may be fashionable, but nobody wants holes in their socks – much less their undergarments! PE class is hard to look forward to when shoes pinch or flop. Then there is the surprising cold of a sunny Vegas winter morning; we may not have snow, but we do have enough cold to require a warm jacket.
Now imagine taking a morning off of your crazy holiday schedule to share the joy of giving to someone in need.
The Santa Clothes program connects an adult volunteer with a child in need of a shopping trip. Each child arrives with a wish list. The shopping pairs have one hour to scour the racks at JCPenney before the store opens to the public. Generous support from our sponsors allows each child to buy $200 worth of shoes, jackets, and clothes. With JCPenney's great discounts – and no sales tax for the charitable endeavor – these kids are given a wardrobe makeover for the winter ahead.
Outside of spending time with my family, Santa Clothes is the highlight of my holiday season. I love seeing the joy on the kids’ faces and knowing they will have shoes that fit and comfortable, warm clothing. I also love knowing 100 percent of my donation and service goes directly to the children.
This was my third year participating in the Santa Clothes experience. My first year, the child I was paired up with had never seen the inside of a department store, rode on an escalator or owned a pair of brand new shoes. This year, I was paired up with a second grade girl who wanted to shop for her younger sisters and bring home two extra donuts to share with them in case they were hungry.
After the shopping spree, we take the kids to the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) football practice field, where they mingle and play sports activities organized by UNLV athletes. We all enjoy a pizza party following the fitness activity. At the conclusion, the children are given one more surprise gift as they board their vans to head home.
Since Christmas of 1996, the Rotary Club of Las Vegas has been reaching out to more children in need. This year, the Rotarians and sponsors gave the gift of the holidays to 310 children and of the City of Las Vegas proclaimed Thursday, December 8, 2011, The Rotary Clubs of Southern Nevada - Santa Clothes Day.
Santa Clothes is truly a heartwarming experience and one I look forward to every year. I’m grateful Noble Studios allows me to take time out of my busy work schedule to pursue my passion with the Rotary of “service above self.”
To make a contribution to Santa Clothes, visit the Las Vegas Rotary.