Family organizes Secret Santa day for the public

Messenger photo by Mike Munden
Jackie Holfinger (right), holding her son Anthony, 3, is organizing a Secret Santa shopping experience for local children at the Dollar Tree in London. Representatives of Girl Scout Troop 1287, including Cassidy Herald (left) and Jordan Wood, will assist children at the event.

Jackie Holfinger fondly remembers the Secret Santa Shop at Lazarus. Her parents would take her there every year so that she could shop on her own for Christmas gifts for her family.

All grown up now, the London resident is recreating that experience for others—with a twist. She’s doing it in London, and she’s inviting the public.

“This is just something my family wanted to do,” Holfinger said.

From 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 6, parents can bring their children (ages 4 to 12) to The Dollar Tree at 224 Lafayette St. in the London Plaza Shopping Center. While the children shop, parents will be invited to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies outside the store.

“Donations of $1 per item are requested, but no child will be turned away,” said Holfinger. “My husband, Christian, and I will make up the difference.”

Volunteers, including the Holfinger family, their neighbors, and representatives of local Girl Scout troops, will man each aisle to help youngsters find gifts. To make the shopping easier, Holfinger suggests the children bring lists with them.

Participants can keep their selections a surprise by stopping at the gift wrap table before they leave the store to rejoin their parents.
In addition to the Secret Santa shopping, donations will be accepted for Operation Homefront, a project supported by The Dollar Tree that supports families in the United States who have family members in the military stationed over overseas.

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