The holiday commercials have begun and the busiest shopping season of the year is in full swing. For the past few years, the Fort Bragg Army and Air Force Exchange Service has made the holidays a little bit easier for shoppers by offering a gift wrapping station at the North and South Post Exchanges.
Each day, three different units or non-profit organizations from Fort Bragg man the tables from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and receive donations for wrapping shoppers’ gifts. These organizations participate in a raffle every fall for the opportunity to sign up for two, time slots to man tables from Nov. 21, through Dec. 24, said Alex Dewberry, general manager secretary/supervisor, Fort Bragg Exchange.
Dewberry said the fundraiser is important because it helps fill up the unit and non-profit organizations’ coffers for the year. AAFES is not able to provide donations of items such as Xboxes or televisions for units to raffle off in their yearly parties, so she said this is the way the organization helps serve Fort Bragg non-profit organizations.
“It’s a great program,” she said. “It’s a way for us to help them. That’s the best part. We can help them to get some money in their funds to do with it whatever they want to do.”
AAFES provides the table, chairs, sign holders and a sign identifying the organization for each time slot, said Dewberry. Participants bring pens, markers, scissors, tape, gift tags, receipt books and a donation box.
Many organizations will send their Soldiers or members of the Family Readiness Group to wrap presents, said Dewberry.
“These are very dedicated and very talented people,” she said. “Last year, I had a Soldier wrap my gift and I thought ‘well he did a better job than I could!’”
The Fort Bragg community is very generous and patient, said Dewberry. Even when there are several people in line, she said she sees the holiday spirit and kindness in peoples’ interactions.
Gift wrapping will also be available on Christmas Eve, but the exchanges will close early that day. Donations are appreciated.