St. Vincent de Paul hosts an annual Christmas shopping day for the students of Palomino Elementary, a Phoenix public school in a community of limited means. U-Haul is a sponsor of the event and a longstanding partner of SVdP. U-Haul Team Member volunteers help the students choose gifts for their families at the SVdP Thrift Store.
Most of the participating K-6 students would be unable to have Christmas presents for their parents and siblings, if not for this event.
“SVdP couldn’t execute the Palomino event without supporters like U-Haul,” said Todd Cooley, corporate development officer for SVdP. “The relationship between SVdP and U-Haul is an amazing partnership.”
Santa’s Toy Shop
U-Haul Team Members arrived at the SVdP Thrift Store for a day of giving. Toys were on tables. Clothes hung in the middle of the store. Kitchenware was displayed in the back.
With the Christmas inventory out and volunteers ready to roll, students came by the bus-full. Roughly 1,800 elementary students passed through the SVdP doors.
“Installing the spirit of giving at an early age is extremely important,” said Carly Castillo, U-Haul volunteer and program manager for UhaulCarShare. “It doesn’t have to be something of monetary value. But giving your time, a healing hand, or even a smile can go a long way.”
Spirit of Giving
Each student could choose two gifts, of any value, to give to family members of their choice. Gifts ranged from board games and purses to coffeemakers and golf clubs.
Some students entered the store with a clear intention of which gift they wanted. Others were a little less decisive. A few sought confirmation from Team Members that their mothers would, in fact, prefer the Calvin Klein purse over the pink stuffed animal.
“U-Haul supports (SVdP) generously each year,” said Cooley. “The Company participates in volunteer opportunities, hosts in-house peanut butter and jelly drives, and makes in-kind donations of storage units, just to name a few things. This is a longstanding relationship that we could not be more grateful for.”
Local TV crews made appearances at the SVdP Thrift Store, excited to capture the Christmas spirit within each child as they browsed the store.
Back to School
By 2 p.m., the 29th and final class from Palomino had exited the thrift store. Each student had their Christmas gifts and visited with Santa Clause while experiencing the joy of giving. Honor-roll students received bicycles for their academic achievements.
Team Members waved goodbye to the last students as they hopped on the bus. Another inspiring day of helping in the communities where U-Haul serves.
Did you know U-Haul supports and participates in the Veterans Day Parade in NYC?