CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For 25 years, a well-coordinated and jolly bunch of elves have delivered Christmas to Oakwood Terrace Apartments in Charleston.
Andy Ceperley is the chief organizer and fundraiser for the Christmas project that delivered gifts and turkeys to residents of the low-income apartments Sunday. Ceperley credits the army of volunteers who make the project happen each year.
"There are four churches involved," Ceperley said. "Elizabeth Memorial United Methodist, Rock Lake Presbyterian, Kanawha United Presbyterian and First Presbyterian -- and there are 10 to 12 people who work behind the scenes, then 30 who deliver the gifts and turkeys.
"We work together to give gifts to the 220 children and turkeys to all 150 families in the apartment complex," Ceperley said. "We raise the money throughout the year, about $8,000."
The manager of the apartment works with the volunteers to give them an up-to-date list of children. Four shoppers buy the gifts.
Chris Rogillio, who works with the youth group at Kanawha United, coordinates the gift purchasing and sorting.
"Chris gets one of the ladies circles to do the wrapping for her," Ceperley said. "Half of them are wrapped at Rock Lake Presby, half at Kanawha United. The youth groups help, too."
Rogillio organizes the gifts by apartment, with gender- and age-appropriate gifts clearly marked and bagged for each family.
The group met in the parking lot of Fruth Pharmacy at 1:45 p.m. and headed up the hill to the apartments at 2 p.m. They went door-to-door, delivering something to every apartment.