FARMINGTON – Marsha Marie Buell is busy wrapping gifts this holiday season.
That’s what happens when you announce on Facebook you’re willing to wrap presents for free.
While there is no catch to the offer, Buell is accepting financial donations that can be used to purchase supplies for the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter.
Buell, 25, and her family have been volunteering at the animal shelter for five years. During that time, the Buell family has adopted four dogs and two cats – an ever-growing family.
“They have inspired me over the years to concentrate on the importance of adopting shelter animals,” Buell said.
Last year, Buell offered the same wrapping service for free, and thanks to three generous families, she ended up being able to collect $40 of donations that she used to purchase 12 blankets and one bag of dog and cat food.
Shelter Director Stacie Voss said the shelter doesn’t operate on its own; rather, the organization relies on donations from the community.
“We need the support and generosity of the community to really take care of the animals and find them good homes,” Voss said. “Donations are the icing on the cake for us. They allow us to go above and beyond basic care of the animals, whether it’s toys to keep them occupied or specialized food that allows us to treat animals with special needs.”
Wrapping presents has presented a therapeutic outlet for Buell. But she said the main reason to wrap for others is to help them out.
“I know a lot of people don’t have the time to wrap gifts for their families, and with the struggles we are going through right now, I want to offer my services for free, with the exception of donations,” Buell said. “My desire to help the animal shelter has always been the goal.”
Despite the presence of COVID-19, Buell said she has a plan to wrap Christmas presents while keeping with social distancing and safety guidelines. She plans to keep her work area sanitized, especially between families, washing her hands before and after wrapping each gift, and will wear a mask during any face-to-face meetings. Buell is even offering no-contact wrapping where families can drop their gifts off at the door, and she will call when they are wrapped and ready to go.
“Without our community’s support, we wouldn’t be able to save as many animals as we have; it’s truly a group effort,” Voss said.
Buell is seeking donations for the animal shelter but is also accepting donations of wrapping paper to keep helping families.
For more information about how to donate or get help wrapping, email Buell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
email@example.comAn earlier version of this story misprinted Marsha Buell’s email. Also the dogs and cats she has adopted over the years were adopted by her whole family, not just Buell.