Red Stocking volunteers race to the finish

Heads down, sorting and wrapping feverishly are (from left) Lorrie Pinckney, Pat Carlet, Phyllis Smith, and Cathy Deese. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The parish hall at Grace Church reminded some observers of the shipping room in Santa’s workshop this week as dozens of volunteers wrapped more than 400 presents for young Islanders. It was the Red Stocking’s annual mad dash to the finish before Friday, Dec. 16, when the gifts will be distributed to families that are unable to provide holiday gifts for their children.

Applications rose slightly this year to a total of 427. Last year, there were 419. Donations kept pace with increase, according to Kerry Alley, who chairs the Red Stocking along with Lorraine Clark.

Mr. Alley also mentioned that the application process was tightened up this year. While in the past, applications had to include the name of a professional — teacher, doctor, clergyman, or counselor — who attested to the applicant’s need, now they require the actual signature of that professional.

Donations to Red Stocking, always welcome, may be sent to Box 600, Edgartown, MA 02539.