Members of the community will come together Saturday as the Retired Senior Volunteer Program helps people buy gifts for the holidays.
Santa’s Gift Shop allows low-income children and families to buy Christmas gifts that cost between 5 cents and $5. Additionally, volunteers will be on hand to provide shopping assistance and free gift-wrapping.
“It gives them the opportunity to shop but not pay for things that are out of their reach,” said Brenda Lee, Retired Senior Volunteer Program director. “They can shop, spend their money and get things that are brand new.”
Children will also have the chance to share their wish lists with Santa. However, Lee said the project is for the whole family.
“We try to get as much variety in the gifts as possible so that it’s a family experience,” she said. “Moms and dads come and purchase for each other and purchase for their children. Children purchase for their parents and for siblings. It runs the full spectrum of family.”
Lee said Santa’s Gift Shop is her favorite project.
“There’s nothing I look forward to more than planning and implementing it,” she said. “I don’t know which is more fun: The people who come in and donate items — that brings you joy — or the day you actually serve the community — that gives a person joy.”
Proceeds from the project will go toward other projects that support local children.
The senior volunteer program is sponsored by the Boone County Council on Aging.”It’s a service project that helps the community and also gives homebound seniors an opportunity to contribute,” Lee said.
In the past, the program has gone well, and in addition to providing people age 55 and older with a chance to volunteer, it gives children a self-esteem boost, Lee said.
“I’m really hoping for a huge turnout,” she said. “We just want people to come.”