BY ANTHONY BUZZEO
STAMFORD, Conn. — Former Marine turned talk show host Steve Wilkos had all he could handle Tuesday when he took on 9-year-old Robynn Wilson in a gift-wrapping competition to support St. Luke’s LifeWorks in the lobby of NBC Universal in Stamford.
“I always thought it was the meaning behind the gift,” Wilkos said as he struggled to wrap his first gift ever. Wilkos, star of “The Steve Wilkos Show,” said he took part because he gets caught up in the Christmas spirit and understands how fortunate he is to be able to provide gifts for his family.
Although Wilkos finished before Robynn, his wrinkled gift was not as presentable as the tightly wrapped present she produced. “It’s good enough for me, not good enough to give anyone,” the television personality said, a point agreed upon when a guest 5-year-old judge chose Robynn’s gift over his.
“It’s good that we’re helping kids who wouldn’t be able to get presents,” said Robynn, who volunteers at St. Luke’s LifeWorks with her mother.
Each year, the organization provides personalized wrapped gifts to children affected by poverty or HIV/AIDS. This year, the group will deliver toys to more than 2,700 children from newborn to age 13 throughout the area.
Last year, NBC Universal supported 50 children by leaving a drop-off box in its offices. Last year, the Wilkos family, who supported a child, helped in the efforts.
“They go above and beyond anything we can ask for,” said Takeia McAlister, St. Luke’s holiday gift collection manager.
In addition to toys for children 13 and under, the organization is also looking for tape, scissors and wrapping paper donations as well. Donations can be dropped off through Friday, Dec. 9, at St. Luke’s LifeWorks, 141 Franklin St., Stamford.