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Aided by parents, friends and family, Marie VanDiver works tirelessly all year to provide a selection of quality, low-cost items for students at Christian Academy of Carrollton to buy as Christmas gifts.
As a result, VanDiver and company had a huge assortment of the family – even the family dog.
VanDiver said she and her helpers work during the year to make many of the items sold, and buy other items during after-Christmas sales.
Shopper Shy Callaway, a fifth-grader at Cartmell Elementary School, was busy buying items for her family Monday afternoon, selecting from a wide selection of jewelry, Christmas ornaments and decorations, books, and handmade crafts ranging from handmade pillows to painted gourds.
The inventory also included pet toys and homemade dog biscuits.
“We try to have gifts for mothers and grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers, and siblings and pets,” VanDiver said.
Starla Wang, a past parent volunteer, started the project five years ago. VanDiver took it over the following year, and has been heading up the project since.
Meldoy Knopf is just one of those who help VanDiver pull off the annual fund-raising activity. VanDiver’s husband, Cecil, also volunteers, and described himself as merely a “gopher.”
“I load and unload boxes, and that sort of thing,” he said.
“This is a Marie VanDiver project, and it is such a great sale,” Knopf said, adding that items for the project also have been donated by members of her own family, who live in Indiana.
“We had so many donations this year that we thought we would open it up to the public,” said VanDiver, who is a member of the CAC board and a retired teacher.
The money raised goes back to the school. This year’s proceeds will be used to help the school finish its gymnasium, VanDiver said.