Record number of volunteers turnout to wrap donated presents for GRIC children

December 15, 2017


Thomas R. Throssell

Gila River Indian News


Christmas is all about the spirit of giving and thanks to the altruistic efforts of the Gila River Fire Department, Gila River Police Department, Gila River Gaming Enterprise, and Gila River Indian Community governmental departments including Tribal Social Services, as well as numerous private toy donations, over 500 underprivileged children will be opening presents on Christmas Day.


Every year the GRIC Toy Drive holds a Christmas present wrapping party where volunteers wrap hundreds of presents.


Shannon Redbird, GRIC Communications and Public Affairs Office’s Community Relations, said this year they held the wrapping party at the Huhugam Heritage Center on Dec. 8, where they saw a record number of volunteers come out to help wrap presents.


“We had a great turnout from different departments,” said Redbird. “Around 70 people volunteered, with big groups coming from the casino and Tribal Gaming Office.”


She said the volunteers wrapped over 800 presents and while wrapping usually takes all day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., this year, due to a good turnout, wrapping wrapped up around 1 p.m.


“I want to thank all who came out to donate their time to benefit the kids,” Redbird said. “Everyone came together for a good cause.”


This year’s GRIC Toy Drive collected donated toys from Nov. 1 – Dec. 9. The effort was a joint sponsorship between the GRFD and GRPD, and received assistance from many different tribal government departments, local organizations, and enterprises that distributed the work amongst themselves.


The children, who range in ages from infants to 18-years-old, will receive their presents at a Christmas party later this month.