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Santa needs ‘generic’ gifts for youngsters

Santa Claus could do with some extra elfin help in the next few days.
He is scheduled to arrive in Harrison County on Christmas Eve, and most stops are already booked and orders filled.
But this jolly fellow could use some ‘generic’ items for good little children 12 years old and younger, said Mrs. Claus (also known as Elf No. 2, or Shirley Hawkins Raymond, based at Harrison County Community Services).
‘I don’t want anyone to think that someone will be left out,’ she said. ‘We will use some of our direct services money if we have to.
‘These kids will be taken care of.’
Raymond said the non-profit agency usually receives last-minute requests for help this time of year because a budget-busting crisis knows no calendar. ‘We need last-minute generic gifts for kids 12 and under,’ she said. ‘We’re really low on infant and toddler.’
In these situations, the elves think they will be OK, but then something happens, like dad gets injured in a car wreck and can’t work for several weeks. Then, Raymond said it’s too late now to apply for help from the Salvation Army angel trees.
‘The Salvation Army has taken care of hundreds of children in Harrison County,’ she said. But it’s too late now to apply for help there.
The need this year is about the same as in past years. ‘I don’t think we’ve surpassed last year yet,’ Raymond said.
The Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Dept. has collected donations of toys and gifts of money at the Dollar Tree and has delivered those items to the avency. Chief Tim Shewmaker said, ‘They (Dollar Tree employees) have done a tremendous job.’
Items can be delivered to the 101 Building on S.R. 62 just west of the west bridge in Corydon for immediate shipment to the North Pole, said Raymond.
She said children, tots and toddler clothes are needed most, but the elves try to pack at last one toy in each order.
And the little elves appreciate gifts that do not require something else to make them work, like videos or compact disks that require tape players because, obviously, the family might not own a tape player or VCR or DVD.
‘We could really use gloves, hats, mittens, coloring books, crayons, art supplies,’ Raymond said. ‘Board games are always good.’
Gifts should be delivered to the agency unwrapped, so they can be matched to the appropriate age and/or size of the child.
Donations next week will be appreciated, but can be accepted as late as Dec. 23. Then, the shop will be closed, because everyone must report for duty at the North Pole the very next day.

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