By KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
The Ely Times
As we near Christmas this weekend, many folks are doing their last minute shopping, wrapping presents, and filling up the small spaces left underneath their Christmas tree with gifts.
For many children though, there wouldn’t be gifts without the Santa’s Elves Program.
This program has been making Christmas merrier for Children in White Pine County for the past 21 years.
It all begins in October, with Mt. Wheeler Power advertising through the local radio and newspaper to spread the word about the program.
The White Pine County Social Services received applications from families in need. Applications were completed to verify a family met the required guidelines and then they were put on a list.
The Santa’s Elves program worked hard this year to assist over 27 families ensuring that Santa remembered every child in White Pine so that a child was not forgotten just because their family was experiencing a hardship.
Toy trucks, dolls, furry toy animals, interactive educational toys, gift cards and clothing donations filled the meeting room at Mt. Wheeler Power’’s office, making it a mini version of the North Pole.
The White Pine County Sheriff’s Office assisted this year with the distribution of items.
Toys were categorized by age range, and everything was well organized so that when parents lined up this past Monday to receive their packages it was a very quick and smooth process. Santa’s Elves goal each year is to cover the entire Christmas setting, with children receiving new coats, a gift card for a new pair of shoes at Shopko, a complete outfit, a board game for the entire family, toys and a food voucher from Ridley’s supermarket. Making Christmas even more enjoyable for these families.
Desiree Barnson, director of the Social Services said “In the last few years, people who were participants of the program in the past have now been able to give back by donating to the program for those who are now in need”.
This program was all made possible with the partnership of Mt. Wheeler Power, the White Pine County Social Services, and the many generous donations from several organizations, clubs, and help from the community. Making the “joy” of Christmas come through the joy of sharing and caring.