Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Tuesday, Nov. 23 @ 4:24 p.m.
Santa's Workshop Is Coming To Town; Keep An Eye Out For Giving Trees
Del Norters visiting the local Walmart, Hiouchi Cafe, Coast Central Credit Union or working at Pelican Bay State Prison should keep an eye out for “Giving Trees” soon.
Part of Santa’s Workshop, the annual gift-giving program spearheaded by Rural Human Services, each tree will be adorned with mittens, hand-made by District 2 Supervisor Valerie Starkey, bearing the name of a child in need of a few gifts this Christmas.
“We want the gift giver to keep the mitten as a souvenir, an ornament for themselves, and the inside of the mitten is the list of wishes for the child,” RHS Board Member Celia Perez told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Tuesday.
Perez said a “Giving Tree” will also be in Klamath, though she hasn’t determined the location yet.
Perez and RHS began accepting applications from parents signing their children up for Santa’s Workshop on Nov. 8. The deadline to submit applications is Dec. 10, giving Perez roughly a week to purchase last-minute items for distribution on Dec. 18 and 19.
Parents and guardians can obtain and turn in applications at the Del Norte Social Services Branch, the WIC Office in Crescent City, Open Door Clinic and at the RHS office on M Street. Applications are also available and accepted at the Del Norte Child Care Council and Pacific Pantry in Crescent City and at Yurok Head Start in Klamath, Perez said.
Parents can also bring completed Santa’s Workshop applications to the Crescent City Farmers Market at the Crescent City Harbor on Saturdays or place it in RHS’s drop box after hours, Perez said.
Though RHS typically uses MediCal guidelines to determine if a family is income-eligible for Santa’s Workshop, because people are still experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perez said the organization will use the honor system.
Perez noted that some people still aren’t back on their feet and may not have the resources they once did for gifts.
Donors who pick a mitten up from one of the giving trees are asked to bring their gifts by Santa’s Workshop headquarters at the Old Daly’s Building on 3rd Street by Dec. 15.
“I do have some organizations volunteering to come wrap (presents) like Rotary and 4H,” she said. “The building’s being donated for our use by Tab & Associates.”
When it comes to including a child’s wish list on an application, Perez said she’s asking parents not to include electronics like X-Boxes, Play Stations and video games as well as clothing or gifts worth more than $50.
Parents should provide a detailed description of their child’s wishes, including whether or not they hate a certain character and if they already have an item — Perez used an easel for a youngster into arts and crafts as an example.
Last year, Perez and other RHS volunteers fundraised and shopped for Santa’s Workshop recipients themselves rather than relying on the “Giving Trees,” purchasing gifts for more than 700 kids. Perez said one family didn’t one their kid getting anything gun-related.
“I appreciate that,” she said, adding that she had purchased more than 200 Nerf guns last year because they were a popular request. “That narrows it down. The kid doesn’t get a Nerf gun. He got a basketball, a skateboard and a bike pump. He was happy.”
For more information about Santa’s Workshop, call 707-464-7441.