Project Santa seeking donations to give kids a happy holiday

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Wed., Dec. 4, 2013
Project Santa expects to assist more than 450 Windsor children with making sure their Christmas is a happy one. Courtesy image. - Contributed Photo

Every year, as gift-giving season approaches, people tend to think of families who are in need. This season, Project Santa will be seeking assistance for those who may need a little help in Windsor.

Considered a “community committee,” the Project Santa effort consists of many of the local groups who attempt to help needy families all year long, such as Windsor Social Services and the Windsor Food and Fuel Banks.

“The committee’s goal is to provide families experiencing difficult economic times with a nice holiday,” said Jane Garibay, executive director of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce. “It is heart-warming to see the gratitude from people picking up toys for their children. Many do not use other [town] services, but do accept from Project Santa for their kids,” said Garibay.

Once a family is approved to receive gifts through this program, a name and age are taken and a potential gift idea is offered to a matching donor.

The criteria for people who feel they may need to utilize Project Santa are that they are Windsor residents, the children are up to 15 years old, and they are income eligible. 

Garibay said that in 2012, 405 Windsor children received gifts. She predicts more than 450 will be served this year.

“One mother told me the story of how she was laid off three years ago,” said Garibay. “The first Christmas she was able to make do,” she said.  But the next year she was not so lucky and took advantage of Project Santa. “The good news is that she was hired into a full-time job,” Garibay said.

In order to fill the stockings of many children, people will be able to drop off toys at local businesses, and on Dec. 14 and 15, the Windsor EMS will be sponsoring a toy drive form 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Town organizations working with Project Santa include The Windsor Food and Fuel Banks, Windsor Volunteer Ambulance, Social Services, Health Department, Windsor Police Department, First Town Downtown, Grace Church, Windsor Chamber of Commerce and Bill Selig Jewelers.

Toys will be distributed on Dec. 17. If you are interested in putting your children on the Project Santa list, start by contacting Windsor Social Services.

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