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Seattle Gift Wrap Project perseveres despite pandemic, raises money for families in need

Even though Seattle downtown shopping has slowed down since the outbreak of coronavirus, this holiday tradition continues for a worthy cause.

Despite all the changes that the coronavirus pandemic has brought, some passionate volunteers are dedicated to continuing to make the season a little brighter for some local families in need.

For 25 years Louise Avery has been leading The Seattle Gift Wrap Project, which has been a fixture in downtown Seattle for more than two decades.

Skilled gift wrappers transform your packages for a modest donation and the proceeds go to The Forgotten Children’s fund. Since 1976 The Forgotten Children’s Fund has worked to support underprivileged children and their families at Christmas.

President Larry Longfelder says despite the complicated COVID-19 obstacles this year, Forgotten Children’s Fund is providing Christmas for up to 4,000 kids in the greater Seattle area, including food, clothing, books, blankets and more.

The money the organization receives each holiday season from The Seattle Gift Wrap Project is vital to supporting the countless families they serve.

Like many businesses during the pandemic, the Seattle Gift Wrap Project has learned to pivot in order to continue to provide the services to those who need their gifts wrapped and to the families helped by the organization.

To follow safety protocol the volunteer numbers are minimized and the wrapping stations are more than six feet apart.  

A plastic curtain separates the volunteers from customers dropping off gifts and volunteers and customers are all wear masks.  

And for the first time they’re offering curbside service, where customers can send a text to drop off packages to be wrapped. A volunteer then texts customers back when the gift wrapping is done.

Suggested donations range on the size and quantity of items. Avery says she’s even wrapped a piano.

They will be onsite wrapping away until Christmas Eve at 9 p.m. They are located at 616 Olive Way, near Nordstrom and Pacific Place in Seattle.

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