Volunteers hit mall to wrap gifts, take donations - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Volunteers hit mall to wrap gifts, take donations

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Posted: Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:47 am | Updated: 4:59 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Stephanie Bodine and her mother, Suzanne Zobell, admit they aren’t pros when it comes to wrapping gifts. Rather than fuss over making fancy bows or worrying the shiny paper was seamless, the women were focused on more immediate concerns, like proper paper-tearing technique.

“You have to make sure not to make a hole in the paper,” said Bodine, pointing to the 10 large spools of festive paper on the two carousels before them.

The Mesa women put their paper skills to the test at Fiesta Mall on Saturday, working one of the first shifts on the first day the mall offered gift wrapping to customers. Risking grumpy shoppers was worth it, the women said: The money they raised will support extracurricular activities at Adams Elementary School in Mesa, where Bodine is a fifth-grade teacher. Suggested donations range from $4 for a small gift box to $6 for larger boxes.

Like most of the volunteer wrappers, Zobell and Bodine relied on years of wrapping presents for their own families for inspiration. Using supplies donated by mall management, the women stood boxed in by counters, at the ready with scissors and lots of rolls of tape. Choices included 10 varieties of vibrantly colored holiday paper that all receive a standard gift-topper: a glossy white adhesive bow. Volunteers from other groups will raise money wrapping gifts until Christmas Eve.

“This is a good way to hide what I bought,” said Bill Olson of Cottonwood, who had driven to the mall to shop with his wife and daughter.

Frank Calderon, shopping for his girlfriend, said he’s not the best at wrapping gifts, “especially when the paper bunches around the corners.”

Since his girlfriend is normally his designated wrapper, Bodine and Zobell were a nice discovery for the Mesa man. “It wouldn’t be cool to ask her to wrap her own gifts,” Calderon said.

Wrap artists

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day through Christmas Eve, volunteers from a different Mesa group will staff — and benefit from — the giftwrap booth at Fiesta Mall

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