Tonawanda News —
"That was us," she said. "That was John and Kate and I and my husband when our kids were younger. We didn't have things. We had help.
"There's always that day that comes when you can give it back."
Once participants have selected gifts (and given a box of candy for themselves, courtesy of the Zonta Club), it's back to the hallway outside, where volunteers from the club and other community members are armed with countless rolls of wrapping paper, tape and gift tags.
"We go through a lot of paper, a lot of tape," said Zonta president Theresa Marone, who said that the event has been a club service project for years. "We raise funds for the community and we give our time, too. That's part of our mission."
As the hours for the toy event wound down Sunday and the tables started to get a little barer, things began to slow down ... but the present-wrappers continued in their mission. As one volunteer handed a brightly wrapped package to a woman juggling an armload of similar packages, they both smiled.
"Merry Christmas," she responded, gathering the gifts, "and ... thank you."