A Week with Good Samaritan Network’s Christmas Program – Tuesday

Sixteen thousand nine hundred and some odd kids. No, the kids aren’t odd, but the number is more than the 16,900.

Yes, that’s 16,900+.

By the time things are done on Saturday evening, the number will be over 17,000 kids that will be served by the Good Samaritan Network this holiday season. To be clear, not all of these kids will be served at Saturday’s event. Some will be done through partnerships GSN has with other organizations that adopt families and do other things, but the bulk will be Saturday. That number also doesn’t include the adults that are also served.

That’s a lot of kids, and when you give them multiple toys, it is a building full of toys and then some!

Tuesday was a crazy day, but a huge amount was done to organize what the volunteers will be doing for the next few days. In yesterday’s picture, you’d see that the wall a the back of the room was closed. The housewares are now all behind that wall. The main room is now the toys and food. The chaos of yesterday carried over to Tuesday, but by the end of Tuesday, the overall “maze” was set up.

Setting up the maze of tables involved moving, and removing, and moving again numerous pallets of toys and other items. For the volunteers that were there today that were new, it was explained many times that the room is like a number tile toy where you move tiles one at a time to try to get them in order. Sometimes you have to move numbers more than once to get something else where it needs to be. In the end, however, all the madness of the moves results in something organized!

With the maze now in place for the most part, the real fun for many volunteers gets to start. On Wednesday, toys will begin to be make their way to the right parts of the maze!

The Maze Solidifies

I mentioned the maze yesterday. When people come to the event, the get to choose various things based on their need that was expressed when they registered. These things, such as housewares. clothing, toys, and food. Because of the huge number of people being served, people will enter at certain areas of the building. They will then have to follow a path that goes only one direction.

If a person is getting toys, they start at the beginning of a room and follow a path back and forth through tables that are organized (okay, mostly organized) by age groups. Because there is only one entrance and one exit, they will have to follow the entire path through the room. It’s a maze! It really is a site to behold when it is completely set up. By Thursday or Friday, I the maze should be clearer in my pictures. As of today, Tuesday, there are still boxes and pallets that make it hard to see!

Here is what the main room looked like the end of Tuesday! I’ve also added a few other pictures.

It’s Not Just Toys: The Food Area

The food area is a bit easier than the toys, although the volunteers spending the most time there might not agree! This year the food area was able to have a large number of boxes already in place from Thanksgiving and thanks to iTown Church. A lot of supplemental items are added to this as well. A lot of what the food area needs to set up, however, requires that their space be cleared a bit. Right now, there have been a few toys in their way. Even so, on Tuesday they were able to start organizing and packing additional items.

It is worth mentioning that Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County works with the food pantries around the county. They also collect food and other items throughout the year. Many of these can be dropped off at their office at 13053 Parkside Drive in Fishers, Indiana. This is by State Road 37 just south of 131st Street. They also collect dog food and other items. These items are used for those in need throughout the entire year.

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