The Holiday Express band performs at one of its annual Town Lighting public concerts in downtown Red Bank.The humanitarian organization behind the big traveling band is putting out the call for volunteer “warehouse elves” at their Tinton Falls facility.
Every year for the past several decades, Holiday Express founder and co-frontman Tim McLoone leads his big traveling band in a special keynote to the most festive of seasons, as the assembled musicians and singers preside over Red Bank’s annual Town Lighting ceremony with a free open-air, public-welcome concert.
The “Black Friday” tradition is merely one of the more visible manifestations of the musical humanitarian organization that performs dozens of concerts at places that exist well below most people’s radar — the nursing homes, rehab centers, homeless shelters, psychiatric facilities and other locales whose audiences are made up of what McLoone calls the “adult orphans” among us.
While the veteran musician, businessman and entrepreneur observes that the Holiday Express orchestra is the aspect of the organization that “makes the most noise,” he’s quick to point out that the energizing engine is backed up by a formidable freight-train of volunteer support personnel, drivers, techies, and donation/gift processing workers at the nonprofit’s Tinton Falls warehouse facility (938 Shrewsbury Avenue in Tinton Falls). And, effective immediately, the Express is putting out a call for just such a crew of “warehouse elves” — a call that includes, for the first time, an online sign-up.
Every Monday through Friday from now until Christmas, volunteers are being sought to assist the Holiday Express team in sorting, processing and preparing donated gift items for distribution at the organization’s numerous scheduled events throughout the region. Beginning Monday, October 17, adult “elves” (ages 18 and up) are needed between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. weekdays. Beginning October 24, junior volunteers below the age of 18 are welcome to lend an assist weekdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with adult chaperones also welcome to lend a hand during those hours (no sign-up required).
Beginning Tuesday, October 25 and continuing Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the season, kids and adults are welcome to join the Warehouse Elves for evening hours that run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
To sign up as a warehouse volunteer:
1. Go to www.holidayexpress4.org
2. On the left side of the screen, you will see all the available dates to volunteer in the warehouse
3. Click on the date/time you would like to volunteer
4. Fill out your information (Two people cannot have the same information. You have to give a separate name, email and phone number for each volunteer)
5. If you have a group, larger than 5, you must call the office, (732)544-8010, to set up a time to come in.
Holiday Express reports that “Parking has become a problem here. Please do not take up spots that are designated for the other businesses in the complex. During the day, please do not block the dumpsters. If you cannot find parking in our lot please park next door in the Acme lot or across the street at the south end of the Marshall’s Plaza. Use the crosswalk when crossing the street.”
Prospective volunteers looking to assist with specific events can check back with the Holiday Express website for updated information on the 2016 schedule, as the information becomes available.