Children at Rice Child and Family Center have a broad selection from which to select gifts.
Submitted photos
Children at Rice Child and Family Center have a broad selection from which to select gifts. Submitted photos

Understanding the importance of being able to give as well as receive gifts at holiday time, Marne Glaser a few years ago organized several of her friends to set up a holiday shop for the children who reside at the Rice Child and Family Center on Washington Street. She was a psychologist at School District 65 then, serving part time at the Rice Center.

Many generous donors provide gifts to the children, she said, and “I wanted them to feel empowered to select, wrap and present gifts themselves to the important people in their lives – family, teachers, Rice staff or whomever they choose.”

Choosing items from her home that she had purchased or received but never used, Ms. Glaser recruited individuals, organizations and faith communities to pitch in and help set up a one-day store each year where the children could shop.

“With our help, the kids peruse the collection, make their selections, and then we help them wrap the presents, slap on bows, and save them for their holiday visits.  It’s always a merry time,” Ms. Glaser said.

Over the years, the donors have changed but – unlike Brigadoon, which appears only one day each century –the Rice shop returns brightly each year.