The Club Theatre stage, one of many at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, was packed with toys, clothing, diapers and other infant and toddler supplies on a recent Wednesday evening.

The Minnesota Chapter of the National Concierge Association held its monthly meeting at the theater Feb. 13. Monica Griak, the group sales specialist and NCA liaison at the theater, hosted the meeting.

Like so many times before in her life, when presented with the opportunity to give back to the community or help others, Griak was happy to oblige. For the monthly meeting, Griak organized a donation drive to help gather infant and toddler supplies for families in need.

In the moments leading up to the meeting, Griak was meticulously unpacking and arranging the last of the supplies, which was no small feat as NCA members continued to file in with more donations. The pile grew and Griak continued to organize and rearrange, only stopping occasionally to exclaim, “Isn’t this amazing?”

The supplies were donated, in part, thanks to local retailers such as Cub, Lund’s and Byerly’s, Target, and Kowalski’s. Griak gathered many of the supplies on her own, visiting thrift stores and finding the “diamonds in the rough” – toys and clothes that are like-new or close to it.

Aside from the donations brought by other NCA members, Griak stored most of the donations at her own home in anticipation of Wednesday’s meeting.

Griak has worked at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre for more than a decade and has been recognized as NCA’s Volunteer of the Year on more than one occasion. In previous years, Griak has organized similar donation drives, such as a food drive in 2022 and a linen drive in 2019.

“Monica is one of those rare employees who takes an idea, runs with it and then takes it to the next level,” said Kris Howland, PR director for the dinner theater.

Before working at the dinner theater, Gariak worked at Delta Air Lines for 30 years. During her time with Delta, she recalled a volunteer project where they filled a DC10 plane with volunteers and flew to Grand Forks to assist with the Red River Flood clean up.

“I’ve never been in a natural disaster sight immediately after the fact. It was devastating,” she said.

Griak has a passion for helping people in whatever capacity she is able.

“You just don’t see dedication like this very much anymore. It is truly inspirational,” Howland said.

At the end of the night, the infant and toddler supplies were presented to Wayne Bugg, the associate executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Twin Cities, an organization Griak calls a “powerhouse of compassion and assistance to the needy.”

“We are so honored to serve St. Vincent de Paul. You make such a huge difference in peoples’ lives everyday,” Griak said, addressing Bugg.

Bugg, a father of five himself, said that as a parent, sometimes the thought of raising a child can be overwhelming.

After their third child, Bugg and his wife wanted to try for one more, but to their surprise, his wife ended up becoming pregnant with twins.

Bugg recalls worrying that he wasn’t financially prepared for two more children at the same time. He said his sister-in-law stepped in and offered to buy the diapers for the twins for the period of time they would wear them.

He said with their donations, the audience was now anointed as the sister and brother-in-laws of so many families. “We want to bring dignity and remind people of how loved they are,” Bugg said.

“I’ll wrap up with just a little poem by Mother Teresa, ‘Do small things with great love,’” concluded Griak, a sentiment that aptly captures her approach to life.