BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – This year’s annual Santa’s Store is currently accepting donations, but is also looking for elves and helpers.
This year’s children shopping event is being held Saturdays, Dec. 7th and 14th at the St. Paul Lutheran Church at 1934 Avenue I in Fort Madison.
Children ages 2-10 can shop for up to six items for a $5 donation. The children have to be able to shop with the assistance of an elf. Elves can be ages 12 and older. Proceeds go to the veterinary fund at P.A.W. Animal Shelter in Fort Madison.
PAW Director Sandy Brown coordinates the event and said volunteer hours for public school students can be applied to the graduation requirement for community service.
“Last year we did pretty well getting high school students to help the younger kids shop,” Brown said.
“But if your little ones are too shy or afraid to shop, they can try again next year. They have to be able to shop with the elves because grandmas, aunts, uncles, moms and dads aren’t allowed to shop with the kids.”
The Santa Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m both Saturdays. Donations are being accepted this week on Monday and Tuesday and next Monday and Tuesday the 25th and 26th at the church.
Donations are accepted through the alley entrance. Brown said she has the volunteers she needs to handle accepting the donations, but needs help on the days of shopping for wrapping and other needs.
She said those wanting to volunteer can call her at the shelter at 372-2274.
“Or they can just show up the day of the event and we’ll find a place for them,” Brown said Monday.
“The more volunteers we have, the more children we can serve because it helps the process go faster for each child.”
This is the 11th year for the Santa’s Store and Brown said typically the store runs out of gifts for dads.
Brown said no clothes or large items or appliances are accepted.
“Knick knacks that a small child would purchase to give their moms and dads, but the past few years we’ve run out of things for dads so we could use extra things for dads this year.”