ELLINWOOD — Ellinwood Grade School Counselor Andrea Birzer spoke to the Ellinwood Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon about a holiday event coming up at the school.
On Monday, Dec. 17, the grade school will hold its second Santa’s Workshop, where students have an opportunity to “shop” for a gift for a loved one, and with the help of volunteers, wrap the gift and write a card to go with it.
“We know that a lot of kids in our school don’t have the opportunity to do these kinds of things,” Birzer said. “It gives kids a chance to be a giver, and not just a receiver, this season. Just seeing the looks on their faces, that spark and that pride in that gift they will give to their family member,it’s just pure innocence and sweetness.”
She passed around a picture book with photos of students, teachers and volunteers selecting and wrapping gifts at the 2017 Santa’s Workshop.
Birzer asked members to consider donating items they would normally sell at a garage sale to the cause. Things like kitchen items, toys for little kids, baby gear, or tools for men. Clothes and shoes will not be accepted, because children rarely know what size to look for, Birzer said. Items for men were in short supply last year, and would be much appreciated this year.
Some of the items donated last year that were left over were saved for this year, but with little storage available, the remaining items were donated to the Salvation Army, Birzer said.
Kids arrive at the workshop with one special person in mind, and they shop for that one special item, Birzer said.
There are about 240 students at EGS, and each will shop for one gift. Donated items are arranged on tables in the EGS gymnasium, and it looks like a big garage sale, but there is no money involved, Birzer said. Volunteers from the community accompany the children as they shop and assist them with wrapping their gift and making a card.
The school is also welcoming donations of gift wrapping, tape, tags, gift boxes and bags and bows. Donations will be accepted on or before Friday, Dec. 14, and can be dropped off at the school. Birzer is also willing to pick up donations within the city if needed. Arrangements can be made through the school.
“Another way to give and help make Santa’s Workshop a success is by volunteering your time,” Birzer said. “Even if you only have an hour to offer, your help will be much appreciated.”