Project GRACE volunteers have spent this week sorting and wrapping gifts for some 70 families who are in need this year.

On Monday, dozens of piles were starting to accumulate for different families. Everything from stuffed animals to snow boards were labeled and waiting at St. Maximilian Kolbe in Scarborough.

“I’d say there are thousands of presents that go through here,” said Karen Packhem, one of the organizers.

Project GRACE started in 1998 as an adopt-a-family program for just the holidays. Now, the group provides everything from heating oil to presents year round to needy Scarborough residents. Presents go to families as well as to places such as the Preble Street Resource Center, Oxford Street Shelter and Logan’s Place.

Though the time for donating gifts is over, after a three-week break Project GRACE will reopen on Jan. 9 to start work on providing families with medical care, assistance with utilities and heating oil. To make a donation or volunteer, visit, or send donations to P.O. Box 6846, Scarborough, ME. 04070.

At Saint Maximilian Kolbe Church in Scarborough, Project G.R.A.C.E. volunteer Rose Dixon wraps up one of thousands of presents that will be given to over 70 families for the holidays.

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