Secret Santa Shop helps county kids understand the joy of giving | SkyHiNews.com

Secret Santa Shop helps county kids understand the joy of giving

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There is an old saying we hear ever year at Christmas time, "it is better to give than to receive".

It is a sentiment the volunteers of Grand County know and understand well; and while giving is both a selfless and fulfilling endeavor it can also be a form of privilege that struggling families, especially their children, may not get to experience in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Often times families who manage financial hardships must make tradeoffs between presents and electricity bills, Christmas feasts and weekday dinners and amidst it all parents have a tendency to focus on providing presents for children while selflessly forgoing presents for themselves.

That altruistic mindset misses the fundamental point presented in that proverbial saying, that human beings derive great joy from giving something that is appreciated to someone else. To that end the Grand Angels organization and the Rotary Club of Grand Lake invites you to bring your child to the 5th annual Secret Santa Shop in Grand Lake to be held Friday Dec. 18 and Saturday Dec. 19.

The Secret Santa Shop is a donation based Christmas gift event wherein youngsters can pick out Christmas gifts, at no charge, to give to mom, dad or their pets. The gifts are housed in the Grand Lake Community Center in the Grand Lake Town Hall. Children can pick out a free gift and have it wrapped by volunteers on site. The Secret Santa Shop event will also have volunteers on site helping kiddos pick out presents. A flyer produced for the event states, "Our hope is to bring joy to your child by sharing the lesson of love that it is truly better to give than to receive."

Last year the Secret Santa Shop had over 200 kids from throughout the county pick out presents for Christmas. The items offered at the Secret Santa Shop are a mixture of gently used donated items and new items purchased for the Shop through donated funds. The Secret Santa Shop does not offer clothing items as gifts for the kids to pick out.

One of the Grand Angels, Deb Gahan, explained the Secret Santa Shop started out at the Winding River Resort five years ago. The program was held in Granby the second year before moving to the Grand Lake Community Center, which provided the Secret Santa Shop with the space they needed for operation.

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As part of the Secret Santa Shop the Grand Angels and the Rotary Club of Grand Lake are seeking volunteers to help set up the shop next Wednesday and Thursday on Dec. 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Grand Angels encourages Middle Park High School students to volunteer with the program. The Secret Santa Shop is a qualified event for MPHS students to work on completing their community service hour requirements for graduation.

If you are interested in donating gift items to the Secret Santa Shop you can drop off your donations at Mountain Lake Properties in Grand Lake or the Granby Chamber of Commerce. You can also email grandangels1@aol.com to set up an appointment with one of the Grand Angels to donate items. Monetary donations and checks can be mailed to Grand Angels, PO Box 676 Grand Lake, CO 80447, and make sure to designate it as a donation for the Secret Santa Shop.

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