URBANDALE, Iowa –As we get ready to sit down with family and friends this Thanksgiving, one organization wants to make sure the holiday season is a little brighter for those missing a loved one at the table.
It looks like Santa’s workshop inside Bertini Tile in Urbandale. More than 250 volunteers have been taking shifts wrapping presents for EveryStep Grief and Loss Services Home of Amanda the Panda’s Cheer Box program.
Tammy Stapp said, “This is one thing we do as part of Amanda the Panda to help folks just have a blessed holiday, and coming to wrap presents for people to just cheer them up, seems like an easy thing to do.”
Clayton Bruns, 8, was happy to help. “We’re getting gifts and wrapping for those who lost loved ones,” he said.
People nominated more than 400 families grieving the loss of a loved to get a cheer box this holiday season. Each one contains 12 intentional gifts with messages explaining how it might help honor their loved one.
“The holidays can be really difficult for individuals who have lost a loved one. Grief and loss is just tough and grief is not an event, it’s a process, and the holidays are definitely part of that process,” said Ashley Mori with EveryStep’s Grief and Loss Services.
More than 200 volunteers will deliver the cheer boxes to families across the state in the coming days.