After a two year hiatus, the St Botolph Neighborhood Association’s (SBNA) annual wreath sale brought in over $1,000 from a record 157 wreaths sold. Lorraine Steele, SBNA treasurer and organizer of the wreath sale, said that though this is the eighth sale, it has been going on for 10 years.
One year the sale was not held because no wreaths could be found, and another year the SBNA was transitioning to a new board and did not hold a sale. Steele said that over the years, the sale has “been very focused on the St. Botolph neighborhood,” and the group distributes flyers to every door advertising the sale, as well as posts on their social media accounts.
A newsletter is also sent out to members, which extends a little bit outside the neighborhood. “This year…there was such a pent-up demand to do something joyful like decorate,” Stele said, adding that some other neighborhoods “took the nice liberty of passing it along to their constituents,” and there were some sales to South End residents, as well as the Southwest Corridor Park.
“We typically sell between 40 and 60 wreaths,” Steele said, but this year 157 wreaths were sold. She said the group can only take pre-orders, as they “need to be able to place an order [from the nursery] based on how many we’re going to sell. It was absolutely wonderful.” Volunteers went to a nursery to pick up the wreaths and attached red holiday bows to all of them. This year, masks and social distancing were required for volunteers and those picking up their wreaths, but “everybody carefully showed up the day of the pickup,” Steele said, and listened to Christmas music while they safely chatted with neighbors in line while waiting for their wreaths.
“We did wreath pick-up in the alley between Durham and West Newton and many people brought their dogs with them,” SBNA president Joan Carragher wrote in an email. “We always have more volunteers than we need,” Steele added. “It’s very social; great fun.” The money raised from the wreath sale goes “towards funding to run the neighborhood association and what we hope will be our social events this year,” Steele said. Each year, the SBNA holds a family barbecue as well as a winter social event, both of which had to be cancelled this year due to the pandemic.
The group also holds neighborhood meetings for neighbors to chat with one another and a chance to meet new neighbors, but those have been moved to Zoom for the time being, Steele said. “In the midst of this pandemic, as we’ve had to keep our physical distance from friends and neighbors, this year’s wreath sale pick-up was truly wonderful,” Carragher said. “It felt celebratory and normal and we’ve all been craving moments like that.” For more information on the SBNA and its meetings and events, visit stbotolph.org.