Project Santa seeks volunteers
by Susie Vasquez
Project Santa Claus, an effort that has matched needy children in Douglas County with sponsors since 1989, is in full swing. Director Marilyn Malkmus is looking for volunteers to help wrap and organize the books, mittens, caps and more in the coming week.
About 700 Douglas County children from 290 families benefit from the program each year and on Christmas morning there’s a special warm feeling that comes from being part of this effort, Malkmus said.
“I know the joy the children will have that morning. They will be having a real Christmas,” she said.
Children usually don’t accompany their parents to pick up the gifts because parents want them to believe the gifts came from Santa, but there would be fewer good Christmases in Douglas County without help from businesses, organizations and residents here, Malkmus said.
“Businesses, clubs, Brownie troops and organizations all help,” she said. “We have over 200 sponsors.”
The effort includes angel trees at several area businesses, a wheel drive that refurbishes donated bikes, trikes and wagons and a winter clothing drive.
“We start our campaign in October and we can take people through Monday,” Malkmus said. “The families are invited to pick up their packages on Friday.”
Children who have been served through the local Family Support Council, CASA and the Carson Valley Community Food Closet all benefit from the program.
All families must live in Douglas County and are interviewed and approved by staff from the Douglas County and Washoe Tribal social service departments.
n Susie Vasquez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 211.
What: Volunteers needed to sort and wrap gifts for Project Santa Claus
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec 16, 18, 19 and 20
Where: Douglas County Fairgrounds on Pinenut Road in Gardnerville