There’s nary a chimney at Leisure World Chiropractic in Mesa, but more than 40 homemade stockings were still hung with care and loaded with presents to donate to children at a Valley domestic violence shelter.
From Thanksgiving until Dec. 20, Leisure World accepted donations from clients and anyone else to fill the 45 stockings with toys and treats. All of the stockings then went to give to kids at UMOM’s domestic violence shelter in Phoenix.
The end result of the drive was the collection of enough presents to overload every stocking, as well as a few extraneous items that could serve as independent presents. Items came from a broad swath of people: older patients taking advantage of an opportunity to act as grandparents; from a client who came in one day with bags full of things; and from a woman who donated $20 to support the collection every time she came to the office.
“There weren’t a lot of people who didn’t do something,” said Penny Peterson, whose husband Terry runs the practice.
What makes the drive a little special is how the stockings ended up in the office in the first place. They all came courtesy of Peterson’s sister Kathy Brandt, who spent somewhere between $1,200 and $1,500 to make all 45 stockings.
That doesn’t really account for the commitment Brandt put into the stockings, as every stocking took approximately 36 hours to craft. In other words, it took Brandt 67 and a half days to complete all 45 stockings, which makes sense given the goal of making each stocking look different from the others.
“They are really, truly all unique,” Peterson said.
The motivation to fill them on behalf of UMOM, which also offers aid to homeless families in the Valley, came from Peterson’s slight familiarity with the organization. She had a general idea of what the organization does, but she said the project taught her more about the breadth of the organization and all of the people UMOM services, including dads and single people.
This year’s drive also acted as a reboot of the holiday charitable donations given by Leisure World Chiropractic to area organizations, as the firm previously raised items for Sunshine Acres in Mesa. But given how many items were donated this year, the odds of repeating it in 2014 are quiet high.
“We’ll do it again; she already started on next year’s stockings,” Peterson said.
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