Santa’s Helpers in Fairbanks gearing up for another holiday season
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Santa’s Helpers, a non-profit organization is turning up the heat on the holiday spirit, as volunteers get ready for their annual mission of bringing toys and food donations to families in need.
This yearly tradition was started by the Snedden family over 60 years ago as Santa’s Clearing Houser. Since then, the community and volunteers have taken over the organization, calling it Santa’s Helpers.
The goal still remains, helping families in Fairbanks have a happy holiday season and providing toys and food around the community.
Kristen Lawson who is the President of the organization said this year the goal is to reach 350 families in Fairbanks and surrounding communities.
She points at the toys filling up the showroom floor at Fairbanks Nissan, on tables organized by age and gender.
“We get the word out on who needs help and then people come, and they give, and they give,” said Lawson. “You can see it is amazing.”
Families can apply for assistance online or by phone. Those who know a family in need can also apply online, on the phone, or by going to Fairbanks Nissan and speaking with a volunteer.
“We accept gifts for kiddos ages newborn to 17,” she added. “We are in need of newborn to 2 years old gifts and gifts for teenagers. We are looking for soft baby dolls, gift cards, blankets, family board games, and books for all ages.”
The organization receives donations from private donors and businesses. Lawson says monetary donations help fund food donations that are also given to families.
She added there are many businesses around Fairbanks that help in the process. Fairbanks Nissan helps to facilitate the donations, Lynden Transport helps with the delivery, and the Fairbanks Community Food Bank is a huge supporter with food donations. AK Waste has donated bikes for the cause and there are other organizations that drop off boxes making it easier for people to donate. These are just a few of the local businesses helping to make this joyous time for families in our community.
For those who would rather spread holiday cheer by donating time, Santa’s Helpers could also use volunteers.
Toy Sorters are needed through Saturday, Dec.17 and Call Takers are needed through Wednesday, Dec.14.
Volunteer times are Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
On Dec. 15 through the 17th volunteers will be building family bags.
“The 18th of December is the delivery day,” she said. That’s when the community comes in and they deliver all the toys to the community that have applications and have been approved.”
Additionally, Santa’s Helpers is teaming up with Walmart and the Alaska State Troopers on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Troopers will be shopping for toys with funds donated by Walmart.
More information on Santa’s Helpers can be found at santashelpersalaska.com
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