“I think when we first started, what we gave was often the only thing families had for their children at Christmas,” said Anita Geffre, finance director at the Herald and co-chair of Santa Claus Girls. Although the name of the group says girls, men are welcome to participate as volunteers.
The mission of the group hasn’t changed over the years, but instead of bringing the only gifts a child in need would receive, Geffre said the gifts provided now by the group fills out a family’s Christmas, by allowing parents the ability to give their children a gift while still being able to afford a dinner or other things for Christmas.
The Santa Claus Girls gift packages go to children younger than 12. The packages usually include a toy, a toothbrush and candy, mittens and a book. Volunteers donate their time assembling the packages the second week in December.
Families are recommended for help through school social service workers or by churches, and people can also apply themselves. Each year, the Santa Claus Girls help hundreds of children in Grand Forks & East Grand Forks have a Merry Christmas who otherwise might not have the opportunity.
This year 750 children will receive a gift package containing toys, socks, mittens, books & a bag of candy. The cost of providing this small package to each child amounts to $15,000 per year.
We need your help to reach our 2011 fund raising goal of $15,000. To donate, click on the link below to print out a form to send with your contribution.
If you have questions or are interested in volunteering, send an email to email@example.com. Santa Claus Girls accept donations year round.