"I feel I have to give to receive, and I am not alone in this endeavor."
Lorraine Anderson, 80, of Tucson, AZ, organizes a holiday party every December for the city's underprivileged children.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Lorraine: Service to underprivileged children who would not celebrate the joy of the holidays in December otherwise. They are very poor and without heat and food. This is my tenth year and volunteers only come in on the day of the event.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Lorraine: Miracle on Church Street, which is locally known as MOCS, 1607 Broken Bow, Tucson, AZ.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefited from this work.
Lorraine: To date we have served over 20,000 children along with their parents and guardians as they come from all schools, churches and agencies. We receive no help from the city or county.
What inspired you to get involved?
Lorraine: In Boston, where I grew up during the Depression days, I went through all the things that these needy kids are going through.
How did you first get involved? Give us some details.
Lorraine: I started with 300 needy kids in 1995, and it has grown to serving 4000 plus since 2002.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Lorraine: Seeing each child's face of extreme happiness at the moment of meeting Mr. And Mrs. Santa Claus and of receiving a gift they would not get otherwise.
What is/was the hardest part?
Lorraine: It seems to me that this problem never has gone away as I went through it at age 4 or 5 yet it is still happening. What is wrong?!?
What was the biggest surprise?
Lorraine: For the very first time in 2002, we had an anonymous sponsor who paid the rent at our local convention center, which is in the range of $4000 for one day. We would not have been able to have this event if it wasn't for him and his company.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Lorraine: I feel I have to give to receive, and I am not alone in this endeavor. There is a higher power helping me to continue with this project. The need is evident to all.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Lorraine: GO FOR IT!
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