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These wrappers are a hit

December 24, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

Editor's note: This is last of a series of stories running on the 12 days before Christmas to recognize people who make the holidays better for others.




julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - Part of the joy of getting a Christmas gift is tearing off the wrapping paper to discover what lies beneath.

That's why Donna and Tara DeLauney decided to wrap each gift they distribute in the Sharpsburg area for Toys for Tots.

"We just thought that it would be nice if they were wrapped and put each child's name on the package," said Donna DeLauney, 64, of Sharpsburg.

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"It surprises the parents and surprises the children," she said.

"I think it's outstanding," Bob Glausier said. Glausier, 71, of Boonsboro, helped run the local Toys for Tots program until this year.

"That's something that Toys for Tots doesn't do because you just don't have the time to wrap them," said Glausier, a retired U.S. Marine Corps captain.

It was Glausier who, about four years ago, asked Donna DeLauney to help distribute Toys for Tots gifts to local children after he worked with her on the town's Memorial Day Parade.

This year DeLauney and her daughter-in-law, Tara DeLauney, are wrapping at least two presents and a stocking stuffer for each of 46 children in the Sharpsburg area.

The toys are for children from low-income families, with most of the names coming from Sharpsburg Elementary School.

The two women tell people to save their Christmas wrapping scraps and if they need any more, they buy it themselves.

This year a woman, who Donna DeLauney said wished to remain anonymous, donated 25 rolls of wrapping paper.

After Tara DeLauney, 28, divides the toys by gender and age group on the living room floor of their West Main Street home, it takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to wrap them.

Tara DeLauney's daughter, Kiersten, 5, helps pick the toys for each child.

The women get plenty of help - or distractions - from Tara DeLauney's youngest children, Jared, 3, and Jada, 1.

Tara DeLauney said she likes to help others and it's fun to wrap the gifts. "I guess my favorite holiday is Christmas," she said.

"I like to help children and it just does my heart good to know that these children are going to have packages under the tree," Donna DeLauney said.

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