Teri Vance: Rainbow Girls offer Christmas gift wrapping

Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.

Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.

Just last week, I was sharing tips on getting into the holiday spirit, and now, here we are, nearly at crunch time.

With Christmas a mere 10 days away, it’s time to wrap up the shopping — literally. And the wrapping can be the worst part.

If you’re among those with an aversion to paper and ribbon — and the backache that invariable accompanies it — the International Order of Rainbow Girls of Carson City has your solution.

For more than 30 years, the youth organization affiliated with the Masonic Lodges of the Free & Accepted Masons and the Order of the Easter Star has offered gift wrapping at the Carson Mall.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Madisson Jacobs. “You always want to make people’s Christmas nice. To be a part of the Christmas spirit is something special.”

Jacobs, 19, has been involved with the organization since she was 7. A student at Western Nevada College, she leads her local assembly as the Worthy Advisor as well as the state assembly as Grand Worthy Advisor.

The leadership and service opportunities have helped prepare her for her future.

“Rainbow really got me ready for life,” she said. “I am who I am because of Rainbow. It changes a girl into a woman.”

Carson City’s assembly of Rainbow Girls will be wrapping presents inside the Carson Mall starting today from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Dec. 24. They will wrap until noon on Christmas Eve.

Michelle Jacobs, Madisson’s mom, has been supervising the wrapping project for the past 10 years.

She said people are still learning they are there.

She related a story of an older gentleman who said he was just getting ready to go out to buy wrapping paper and tape when he read about the Rainbow Girls in the Nevada Appeal.

“He said, ‘I couldn’t get here fast enough!’,” Michelle recalled. “But we still have people who come in and say, “We had no idea you were here.’”

Donations of $2 to $10 are recommended for the service, and Michelle said it’s well worth the price, likening their work to the old school department stores.

“They have to have square corners, and it has to look nice,” she said. “Everything is wrapped perfectly.”

Proceeds are used to fund a variety of service projects, including veterans and other causes.

“We love the event and we rely on the event,” Madisson said. “It’s one of my favorite events of the year. I can’t get into the Christmas spirit without wrapping gifts.”

It’s not just about raising money, however.

“We definitely spread Christmas cheer,” Madisson said. “We’re always happy and joyful. We brighten their day.”

For more information about the International Order of the Rainbow Girls or to join the Carson City assembly, go to nviorg.org.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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