Sponsors stepping up to help Secret Santa program

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 27, 2011

With the holiday shopping season just beginning the Young Professionals are finding many in the county are eager to become elves for their Secret Santa program.

Right now the program has attracted individuals, church and school groups and civic organizations willing to shop for at least 50 percent of the names collected.

This is the third year for the program that has as its goal to provide warm winter clothing and gifts for children 12 and under in need in the county.

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The Young Professionals have been getting names from the school districts in order to ensure that the need is there for each child and that there is no duplication. They hope to take care of 600 children this holiday.

The names of 302 children have been chosen by sponsors, who go out and purchase the articles required for the program.

“If those (sponsors) aren’t committed, they are very close to being committed,” Casey Baker, Secret Santa organizer, said. “We are doing very well with sponsorships and are waiting on trying to get as many of those before we sit down and think about shopping.”

The Young Professionals will shop for those children whose names are not picked up by a sponsor.

Besides contacting Baker directly, anyone wishing to shop for a child can pick a name off of one of the Secret Santa trees in the county. Locations for them are at the City National Bank branches in Ironton, Chesapeake and Proctorville and at the Briggs Lawrence Library branch in South Point.

“We would like to distribute by Dec. 18,” Baker said.

That means shopping should be finished by Dec. 10. Clothes and gifts can be returned to the locations for the trees. Presents do not need to be wrapped.

“They should take it back to where they got the cards,” Baker said.

If anyone wishes to make a contribution directly to the Secret Santa, that can be done by writing a check to LEDC Secret Santa and send it to the Chamber of Commerce, 216 Collins Ave., South Point, OH 45680.

Anyone wanting to sponsor a child or more than one child and go out shopping for them, can contact Baker at lcypgroup@gmail.com.

Secret Santa organizers have also applied for a $5,000 grant from Pepsi. They are asking everyone to vote at www.refresheverything.com/lcypsecretsanta through the month of November. If Secret Santa gets enough votes to put it in the top 20 finalists, the program will get the grant. Right now it is ranked at 135.

“We are in good shape this year,” Baker said. “Short of a true Grinch showing up and stealing Christmas, it is going to be another successful Secret Santa.”