Anyone unfamiliar with Elves Day might think they've stumbled onto Santa’s Workshop upon entering the Rosborough Cultural Arts and Wellness Center the morning of the event. Run by the Asbury Guild, this cherished tradition encapsulates the spirit of giving that is a hallmark of Asbury Methodist Village.
Dozens of residents, community volunteers, and associates bustle about the Rosborough Community Rooms stuffing 500 bags with holiday cheer. Although many volunteer efforts at Asbury Methodist Village benefit those living in the greater Gaithersburg region or the retirement community's Benevolent Care Fund, this one is directed toward residents of Kindley Assisted Living and Wilson Health Care Center – some of whom lack a family holiday celebration.
Though the scene may look chaotic, it’s a well-choreographed exercise that has been fine-tuned through the years. Red and green are the colors of the day, with plenty of volunteers getting into the spirit with festive holiday hats and clothing. Loading a sleigh in the form of a laundry bin, residents deliver the gift bags to Wilson residents with the help of other volunteers.
According to former "Chief Elves" Hal and Marilyn Gaut, who recently took on smaller roles with the event, residents start contributing in early October and more than 100 are typically on hand to help at the event. Hal says he doesn’t really know how long the event has been going on, but he does know that for more than 30 years, it has been a Guild fundraiser operating under the Elves Day name.
“It’s a wonderful experience,” Marilyn says. “And we always get lovely notes.There’s no lack of people, including associates, who want to help and be part of the experience."
Read about Marilyn's other volunteer activities here.