OCEAN CITY– The Ocean City Young Professionals celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Christmas Spirit Campaign with record participation.
For the past decade, the Ocean City Young Professionals (OCYP) have offered the Christmas Spirit Campaign to ensure local children receive gifts at Christmas time. What started as an Ocean City and Berlin event now provides gifts for families in need throughout Worcester County.
“The response is overwhelmingly positive,” said Megan Rynkiewicz, chair of the 2021 Christmas Spirit Campaign, a program of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. “People love being involved with this event and giving back to their community they love so much. The support from volunteers and donors is unbelievable.”
The OCYP group, a gathering of emerging young professionals interested in getting involved in the community, kicked off the Christmas Spirit Campaign 10 years ago in purchasing gifts for slightly more than two dozen children. Now, the campaign provides gifts for more than 100. The program serves families in Berlin and Ocean City as well as those in Snow Hill and Pocomoke. OCYP members spend all year raising money to be able to purchase gifts each December.
Though kids in need were initially taken shopping by members of OCYP in the days before Christmas, COVID-19 prompted changes last year. Volunteers now shop for children and host a socially distanced drive-through gift pickup day.
“This event is great for the community, from the committee that plans it, to the volunteers that make it possible, to the children and families it assists,” Rynkiewicz said. “While it brings people together for a common goal, it works to address just one of the needs of our community and helps assist during a tough time of year for a lot of local families.”
She said the support from volunteers was unbelievable and that families were grateful for the event. She added that members of OCYP appreciated all of the donors that enabled the group to grow the campaign.
“Even though this event takes place in December, it really requires year-round planning,” Rynkiewicz said. “We appreciate all of our donors and volunteers and this event wouldn’t be as successful as it is without them. We always welcome new faces to our committee and if you are interested in getting involved with planning the 2022 event, please reach out to the Young Professionals of Ocean City with the Greater Ocean City, Maryland Chamber of Commerce.”
For more information, look up Young Professionals of Ocean City, MD on Facebook.