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October 31, 2013

Santa's Helpers Program Transitioning into A Christmas Wish

As the Christmas season rolls around, so does a child's wish list. When the "Santa's Helpers/Adopt-a-child" program in Scotland County came to a close in 2012 it wasn't to be just for the year. Numerous groups were contacted in hopes that someone would have a heart for the program and see it continue.

What started with approx. 20-30 children several years ago has escalated to almost 80 children. As hard as it is for parents to meet the day-to-day needs of their families, it's just as hard for those that help support programs like the once Santa's Helpers/Adopt-a-child program.

The heart of programs like Toys for Tots, and Santa's Helpers is to help families in a time of need, so they can get back on their feet.

As organizers stated for years, Santa's Helpers was established to help parents during a tough time, and in hopes to have a gift or two under the tree come Christmas morning for those children living in Scotland County.

Almost a year later, and with no group or organization stepping up to take over, the previous organizers will continue but with some much needed changes. Besides a name change, the process in which families qualify has also changed.

"A Christmas Wish" will begin on November 1st and end at 4 p.m. November 22nd. This program is open to children ages newborn thru 12 years old and both the children and their parents must live in Scotland County.

Parents are allowed to list one or two items on each child's wish list, keeping in mind that the individuals that adopt the children are from our community and do so out of the goodness of their heart. So, please be considerate on the items you list and keep them within a reasonable price range. Wish list items may include a Barbie, matchbox cars, DVD movies, clothing (with sizes), doll, blanket, etc.

"We have been truly blessed over the years by the overabundance of individuals and groups that purchase items on those wish lists and those that give monetary donations," said volunteer Michele Drummond.

Those purchasing gifts off the wish lists are asked to return them to SHOPKO no later than Tuesday, December 10th, 2013.

Sign-up sheets will be available at the Scotland County Sheriff's Department and SHOPKO in Memphis, and must be returned no later than 4 p.m. on November 22nd. Late entries will not be accepted.

Parents are still responsible for picking the gifts up at the Memphis Fire Department. This year, the pick-up will be Monday, December 16th between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. If gifts haven't been picked up by 6:00 pm, they will be donated to another program. If parents are unable to pick-up the gifts, someone else may pick them up, but the parents must notify organizers prior to December 16th by calling 660-216-6226.

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