It’s Christmas vacation, and while most teenagers are sleeping in, 16-year-old Morgan Jackson is volunteering at Bayshore Mall.
“I just really love gift wrapping and figured it’s a good way to get community service hours,” said the grade 11 West Carleton student.
She’s one of 300 volunteers wrapping presents to raise money for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
Jackson said she’s already completed the required 40 hours of service but thought it would be fun to do it anyway during the Christmas rush.
“There are a lot of high school students that really haven’t been in the working force,” said CNIB’s Gail McGuire.
More than $50,000 has been raised for the CNIB in the last five years at the mall’s gift wrapping centre.
This year’s goal is $12,000 and they’re well on their way to meeting that target, thanks to last minute shoppers.
McGuire isn’t one of them — she started crossing things off her list in October.
But now, with so many stores offering 40-60% off, she’s looking for receipts and coming back for price adjustments.
“If it’s only a few dollars it’s not bad, but if it’s a big difference, like you go to Danier, some differences are $100. So that’s substantial,” she said.
And for those who are hitting the mall a few days before Christmas, the strategy is to go where the sales are and get, “whatever I can find. I don’t have anything planned,” said shopper Chelsey Gibson.
This week, Bayshore and St.Laurent are open until 11 p.m., but close at 5 p.m. Friday.