January 27, 2022

She’s got it covered

Teen-ager wraps Christmas presents for others

Sarah Bullock/staff reporter

Natalie Funk, 13, and her grandmother, Christine Baron, both of Homer, wrapped presents Saturday for others at Access to Independence in Cortland.

Thirteen-year-old Natalie Funk was between rolls of paper and ribbons on her right and presents on her left as she offered to wrap for others who couldn’t Saturday afternoon at Access to Independence in Cortland.

The wrap-up event was Funk’s idea, an effort to help gift givers this holiday season.

“I told my mom I really like wrapping presents for people,” said Funk, an eighth-grader at Homer Junior High School.

Her mom called Access to Independence’s Executive Director Alex Mikowski and arranged the details.

Anyone who needed some help was welcome, whether coping with arthritis or an ailment, or were simply overworked, Mikowski said.

“Some family friends, they can’t wrap,” Mikowski said. “It’s hard to surprise your caregivers.”

A pile of presents were ready for one mom whose child was quarantined at home and couldn’t get alone long enough to wrap, she said.

Funk enjoys cutting the wrapping paper and manipulating it, she said. “And then the look on their face when they guess what it is.”

“If there’s interest in the future, we can do this again,” Mikowski said, adding some supplies were donated. “ And it’s fun to spread a little joy.”

“I thought it was a great idea,” said Christine Baron, of Homer, Natalie’s grandmother. “So I brought her down the first day and we wrapped together.”

Funk and Baron wrapped Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Wrapping presents for someone else is a cost-free way to spread the spirit of Christmas, Baron said.

“It’s giving from the heart,” she said.