(SAVANNAH) A holiday tradition benefiting children continues for another season and the WSAV Coastal Sunrise team is pitching in to help. The Greenbriar Children’s Center’s gift wrapping station is back inside the Oglethorpe Mall and once again, a little Hip-Hop flavor is being added to their fundraiser. The money raised this year will make Christmas morning special for hundreds of people helped by programs operated under the umbrella of The Greenbriar Children’s Center in West Savannah.
One program is their emergency shelter for children who are between 12 – 17 years old. It provides a safe haven for children when they’re taken from a home where abuse and neglect are suspected and often verified. Executive Director, Gena Taylor says there is also a program to help these kids and their families. ” If our counselors can get into homes and get families the resources that they need then the child doesn’t have to be removed from the home and the family can stay intact.” Taylor said. She adds that sometimes young people in the emergency shelter are spending Christmas away from the only home they’ve known. Many have not had the Christmas experience of having a Christmas wish granted. ” It’s just unexpressable what you see on their faces and on the families faces who get to receive something for Christmas.” said Taylor. The center also has two independent living programs and they operate two childcare centers, and a family counseling program.
To add a little something extra, their wrapping station, the Greenbriar Center added a rap contest to their wrapping station activities. It features local celebrities from the community. The holiday hip-hop feature has ground rules that include lyrical requirements that cll for a gift-wrapping holiday theme with a mention of The Greenbriar Center. “It was really a great contest. It brought more people to the gift wrap center, which means it increased our sales.” Taylor said. Once again, WSAV’S Kim Gusby and Martin Staunton are in the mix and stepping up to the challenge. They are set for a 2 p.m. performance inside the Oglethorpe Mall at the Greenbriar gift wrapping station. Online voting will determine the winner.
While the Rap-Off is a draw, the main attraction is the gift wrapping, which is the money-maker to put presents under the tree. It takes a small army of volunteers to man the gift wrapping booth and Taylor says those who are helping have learned the finer points of making a present look pretty. ” One of the things we did do this year was provide training sessions, for volunteers and so those people whose , whose gift-wrapping skills may not have been up to par, we hope that they are now..because we do want the packages to look very professional.” said Taylor. You can vote for your favorite gift-wrapping rapper and see the hours of operation for the gift wrapping station s at the link below. Rap-off voting online begins December 21- 24 on the Greenbriar Center’s website.