Kiwanis Christmas event gathers toys for 169 children
By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff
The Chewelah Kiwanis started Operation Santa this year, switching over from the Tree of Sharing format, and the charitable push to give families in need a great Christmas has gotten a big response from the community.
The Chewelah Operation Santa raised $8,112 dollars this year and the operation had 169 children sign up for gifts. Operation Santa and the Kiwanis were also able to provide turkey dinners for three families.
“The families were so happy and grateful when we delivered their gifts and dinners to their home,” Operation Santa organizer Holly Ayers said. “One mother was so happy she asked if she could hug me before I left her home.”
Nearly all the families that signed up have come and picked up their gifts.
Beginning in September, the Chewelah Kiwanis and Operation Santa began accepting donations for the 2016 year. They asked for unopened, unwrapped brand new toys or clothing for children ages newborn to 17 years.
Donations were dropped off at the Chewelah Independent and Chewelah Washington Federal Bank, and pickup dates and locations were posted on the announcement board at the Chewelah Post Office and the Chewelah Food Bank in November.
“This year’s Kiwanis Operation Santa is almost at its end and it has been delightful and a joy to be able to provide gifts for so many of our Chewelah community families,” Ayers said. “Merry Christmas and God bless!”
The Chewelah Kiwanis also wanted to extend a thank you to the business and community members who helped in donating toys and money to the event.
“It is what made it possible to provide this event for our children and families here at Christmas time,” Ayers said.