Volunteer “elves” will be in action today helping Lawrence children.
About 200 volunteers are in place to give hundreds of Lawrence children ages 3 to 12 assistance in picking out gifts for their friends and family members. It’s the 15th annual Children’s Holiday Shop at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.
“It’s really the only event like this in the Lawrence area where the kids get to come in and pick the gifts out on their own,” said Laura Rose Clawson, the arts center’s director of administration.
Arts center members and preschool students got the first run at the shop in the basement of the arts center Friday evening.
The shop, sponsored by Capitol Federal Savings, is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. It also includes a Holiday Shop Dollars program administered through local social service agencies to help children from low-income families.
The children are paired up with an “elf,” who helps them select gifts that cost $1 to $5. Other volunteers help them wrap the gifts to keep them a secret from parents and friends.
The shop serves between 500 to 800 children each year.
The arts center’s preschool families also organize a cookie sale during the event to raise funds for the preschool.
“Everybody gets in the holiday spirit and works with the kids,” Clawson said. “The kids are very excited. You can see the excitement on their faces and that spreads with our volunteers as well.”