Santa Store takes on new look at new location

PAW Animal Shelter Director Sandy Brown looks over the gifts and toys that are part of the annual Santa Store that benefits the shelter. The store opens for adult only shopping Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then is open each Saturday until Christmas during the same hours. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Online auction planned to start on PAW Facebook page Monday

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

FORT MADISON – The Santa Store that’s been shuffled around Fort Madison for more than a decade has found a new home again, but this year the program is changing a bit as well.

The Santa Store serves to help prop up operating costs at PAW Animal Shelter, and Director Sandy Brown said there are some changes that are happening this year at the new location behind Aldi’s in the 900 block of Avenue G.

The store kicks off shopping on Saturday with a first-time ever adult shopping session from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m during the downtown Mistletoe on Main Street event. No children will be allowed into the store at that time, but adults will be able to shop either a yard sale set up in one of the rooms, or in the Santa Store.

“We’re getting a lot of really nice items, and Christmas items, that children usually won’t buy. Children aren’t going to by a wreath for mom, but an adult might see that and buy it and use in their home,” Brown said.

Adults used to be able to shop the Santa Store at the end of the season to find those gifts, but Brown said they wanted to try something different this year to allow the adults to grab up some of those items for gifts in a yard sale structure, while also opening up the Santa Store to them.

Staff will also be accepting debit cards as payment during the adult shopping sessions. Adults 18 and older will be able to shop the store Saturday. They will also be given the same deal with a $5 donation getting a pick of six different items.

The next two Saturdays, Dec 4 and 11, the Santa Store will be open to children 17 and under only. Adults will still be able to shop the yard sale room, but won’t be allowed into the Santa Store where children will be shopping for family members. Children will also be able to pick out six items for a $5 donation.

On Saturday, Dec. 18, the store will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to the general public. Whatever is left on the adult yard sale will be able to be purchased and everyone will be allowed into traditional store as well.

Brown said she is always looking for volunteers and donations.

“We’re still looking for elves to volunteer each Saturday. They would need to show up at 9:30 a.m. using the alley entrance. And any high school students volunteering will have their hours go to community service requirements for graduation,” she said.

The pandemic made things difficult for the Santa Store last year, but Brown said it obviously has been difficult on families as well.

“Last year was tough, and this year is still tough and there are families out there that would like to get some of these items and on a budget they can afford. Adults can come and buy gifts for their children and maybe even something for themselves,” she said.

Anyone wishing to donate can drop items off Monday through Wednesday this coming week between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. through the alleyway door on the far west side of the back of the Aldi’s building. Donations are also accepted today until 3 p.m.

Also new this year is an online auction that can be accessed through the PAW Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/PAW-Fort-Madison-Animal-Shelter-179648212052707. The auction is set to start Monday.

“You can bid on watches, area items, Christmas items, animal items. This isn’t just all dog and cat stuff. We’ve got hair products, Kingsley Inn stays and lots of neat items on there, too,” Brown said.

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