UWP employees get "All I Wanted for Christmas"

December 23, 2002

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2002_12_23.jpg (Right to Left) Tina Osterholz, Sandy Droessler, and Joie Schoonover Photo by Andy McNeill, UWP Photographer

PLATTEVILLE-For several years, a number of University of Wisconsin-Platteville employees at Glenview Commons have exchanged names and purchased gifts for fellow co-workers during the holiday season. This year, the group put a charitable twist on their holiday gift giving.

"In the past, we've drawn names and gotten Christmas gifts for each other, but this year, we bought gifts we thought that person would have enjoyed playing with when they were children," said Tina Osterholz, a cook at Glenview Commons who organized this year's gift exchange. "We named the gift exchange 'All I Wanted for Christmas' and exchanged the gifts. However, instead of keeping the presents, we'll donate them to the Toys for Tots program. We thought children could use the toys more than we could use the gifts."

Osterholz got the idea from her daughter, whose office in Detroit did a similar gift-giving exchange last year. Last week, Glenview Common employees who wanted to participate drew names and were given a limit of $10 to spend. The toys ranged from Barbie Dolls and Play-Dough sets to Legos and toy musical instruments.

"We tried to match the toys with each person's personality," Osterholz said. "So one lady who's a real computer whiz received a toy laptop. Another woman who's studying to become a nurse received a toy medical kit. You can get some really cool toys for only $10 and it was fun to see what each person thought the other person would enjoy - I got a princess Barbie!"

Joie Schoonover, the new associate director of dining services at UWP, said she thought not only was the donating aspect of the gift exchange neat, but the "All I wanted for Christmas" theme was especially unique.

"The staff organized all of this on their own and came to management and asked if this idea was OK with us." Schoonover said. "We really have a creative staff here who work well together. They're a great bunch of people who are very caring of others and concerned about what's going on in the world."

The toys were all delivered to the Platteville City Hall Thursday, Dec. 12, to be donated to the Toys for Tots program.

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