Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday shop lets children pick gifts

Several volunteer "elves" were in action Friday evening to help Lawrence children prepare for Christmas.

December 13, 2008

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Morgan Smith, 3, shows his distaste as volunteer Clarissa Jackson helps him to find a gift for himself Friday during the Children’s Holiday Shop at the Lawrence Arts Center. Local kids were given the opportunity to purchase inexpensive gifts for their parents, siblings, relatives and friends with the help of volunteers. Morgan decided to treat himself to a toy as he had a little money left after shopping for family members. See story, page 3B.

Morgan Smith, 3, shows his distaste as volunteer Clarissa Jackson helps him to find a gift for himself Friday during the Children’s Holiday Shop at the Lawrence Arts Center. Local kids were given the opportunity to purchase inexpensive gifts for their parents, siblings, relatives and friends with the help of volunteers. Morgan decided to treat himself to a toy as he had a little money left after shopping for family members. See story, page 3B.

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.”

Comments

Mama964 6 years, 3 months ago

We attended this Holiday Shop, and it was great. Mostly. I expected to wait in line, I expected to be around a mass of people with anxious children, and I expected to see many people overly warm in their winter coats and becoming bit irritable after a while. What I did not expect was finally being within grasp of the front of the line and having an entire family CUT right in front of hundreds of people. And when called on it, receiving a "too bad, loser" response. I believe the Arts Center does their best, but many of us would appreciate a "Hall Monitor Elf" to help thwart such insensitive actions. After waiting for so long, the defeated look in my child's eyes when this occurred right in front of her I'll not soon forget.

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