INDIANAPOLIS — Packing company MAVPAK is giving Santa a helping hand this year.
For the past four years, the company has partnered with the Indianapolis Salvation Army to adopt children from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree. This year, the company is buying gifts for 500 children in need.
Volunteers with MAVPAK gave up their Saturday morning to shop for the kids at Walmart.
"We started MAVPAK to really honor God. We wanted to build a company that could serve as a bright light. The business world lets people focus on money first and people second. We've just flipped the script, and tried to focus on people first and money second," said John Goo, the owner of MAVPAK.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree program provides gifts for children in need. They have more than 4,000 kids on the tree this year.
Gordon Knight, with the Indianapolis Salvation Army, said corporate partnerships like this one guarantee every child has a gift under the tree on Christmas.
"With them taking large numbers, it really does relieve that pressure of not having forgotten angels at the end of the season. That's our goal," said Knight.
Each shopper picks up a bag. It has their first name, age, what they want for Christmas and their clothing size printed on it. All of this information helps the shopper better connect with the child.
"We do our best to pray over every bag, or pray for all of them as we get started or after we are done," said Goo.
Each shopper got around $120 to spend on each child. Shoppers pick out toys and clothes they hope will bring joy to the child. The gifts will later be distributed to the parent to allow them to create a little Christmas magic of their own.
"It keeps that family unit set up properly, and that honor and respect from the kids to the parents. The parents still get to be the gift-givers," said Goo.
Goo expects to spend up to $60,000 over the two-day shopping event. He said he hopes more corporate businesses get involved with Angel Tree and spread Christmas joy.
"I would just challenge everybody to do their part, especially at Christmas. It feels so much better to give than get," Goo said.
MAVPAK volunteers will continue their Angel Tree Shopping on Thursday, Nov. 18, at a local Meijer store.