It’s coming! Can you hear the sleigh bells? Can you smell the cider and the fir trees? The holiday season is just around the corner! Here at the Samaritan Center the holidays are an extremely busy time of year, it is also one of the most rewarding. The one on one time with the youngest faces of those in need is most prevalent as the leaves fall and snow follows after.
During the month of December the Samaritan Center community meeting room is transformed into a little bit of the North Pole as chairs and dry erase boards give way to lights and toys. Santa’s Workshop is a program aimed at helping every child have a wonderful holiday. Parents of children under the age of 12 are allowed to select two toys for each child. These families are those who were not adopted through our family adoption program. Last year over 750 children were helped through Santa’s Workshop. It is a wonderful feeling to know that those children had something to open and gain joy from. Children that might otherwise had nothing to open on Christmas morning. Nothing warms the heart more than seeing the joy of the children that come with their parents, or the relief on the face of a single mother who now knows Santa can visit her children.
The toys distributed through the Santa’s Workshop program are new. We do not give out used toys through this program. We believe building self esteem is essential to helping individuals out of poverty. It is in this vein of thought that we give away new toys, feeling that all children deserve something new at Christmas time. We try to keep the toys at a price of $10.00 which helps ensure a good toy and that everything for the parents to choose from is on the same price level.
While we can offer the workshop, we need elves to fill it. This is where the generosity of our community is needed. We need your help to bring the joy of Christmas to these children. It is a sure bet that there will be more children this year than last. We are serving more than 1,300 families a month.
You can help by making personal donations, by starting a toy drive at your workplace, church, or school, and by encouraging others to help. Some ideas are: having a dress down day and collecting toys or funds to participate, hold contests between departments to see who can raise the most and reward the winners with a pizza party. Santa’s workshop runs December 1st -16th. We ask that funds and toys be in by
Tuesday November 20th to reach the most people in need. For more information please contact the Samaritan Center at 573-634-7776.