(Posted Nov. 30, 2011)
The next two weeks will yield a sleighful of opportunities to be anelf and help the HELP House prepare hundreds of gently used toys and games for adoption into the homes of kids who are less fortunate.
“Last year, 650 children in 220 families received an average of one new and three gently used gifts each, resulting in over 2,000 gifts being distributed in one day, said Dee Heilman, director of HELP House.
“The major difference in our outreach is that the gifts are selected by the parent/guardian and given to the children on Christmas, rather than the children receiving gifts directly from a charity.
Families who receive gifts are already registered clients of HELP House, earning less than the federal poverty guidelines.
“With continuing unemployment and underemployment, families are stressed to pay rent and utilities, leaving little or no money for any Christmas traditions, Heilman said.
To get the gently used toys and games into gift-giving shape, HELP House has scheduled several Elf Days and Elf Nights:
• Sunday, Dec. 4, 1 to 5 p.m.
• Wednesday, Dec. 7, 5 to 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Dec. 8, 5 to 8 p.m.
• Friday, Dec. 9, 5 to 8 p.m.
• Wednesday, Dec. 14, 12 to 3 p.m.
• Wednesday, Dec. 14, 5 to 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Dec. 15, 5 to 8 p.m.
Volunteer elves must register their times with B.J. Bryant at bbry...@columbus.rr.com or by calling (740) 500-8986. If a specific day or time does not have registered elves, that block of time may be cancelled. All volunteer times are at HELP. House, 122 E. Center St., London.
Many volunteer elves are also needed from 8 to 11 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. shifts on Dec. 17 for the finale—the Christmas shopping day for parents and guardians. Volunteers will manage toy stations, assist clients to their vehicles, oversee parking and help with many other tasks.