More than 500 volunteers came together Dec. 9 at King of Kings Lutheran Church for Christmas Palooza. What started out as an idea from church staff four years ago has turned into a holiday staple. The event, entitled "A Party with a Purpose," allowed volunteers to rotate through workstations to complete service projects and help those in need.

Throughout the two-hour event, volunteers assisted in a variety of ways, including:

• Assembling 2,028 weekend food packs - the equivalent of 12,168 meals - for students in District 833 that are in need.

• Creating 193 patriotic wreaths for residents at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis and Hastings. The wreaths will be given to the residents to hang on their doors.

• Filling and wrapping 436 shoeboxes with personal care items - soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant and socks - to be given to the Youth Service Bureau.

• Assembling 495 kits for Camp Noah, a place in Minnesota for kids to grow and heal. Camp Noah helps children from across the United States process their disaster or trauma experience and learn lifelong recovery skills through creative activities and play.

• Creating 1,990 bird feeders. Not all Minnesota birds head for warmer temperatures in the winter. Birds like woodpeckers, sparrows, crows and some robins end up sticking it out and staying with us in Minnesota.