Irish-Christmas-poster-2013-legal-borderBy Anne Northrup

Last year Joey did not have any gifts under the Christmas tree for his parents or his big sister Nancy. This year little Joey is driving on a snowy Sunday afternoon in December to Santa’s Workshop with Nancy and their parents. In the back seat of the car he is holding his piggy bank to shop for Christmas presents for his family.

When the family walks into Santa’s Workshop they are greeted by Santa’s Elves. The Workshop is decorated for Christmas and filled with gifts to choose from. His parents are escorted to a private waiting area where they enjoy refreshments while the Elves help Joey and Nancy select presents for them. The kids then each get a chance to privately pick out gifts for each other. The gifts are then taken to the elves gift wrap station where the gifts are individually wrapped.

Joey is not required to pay for the gifts but very proud to be able to donate something for them so he drops fifty cents into the jar at checkout. The family leaves with two happy kids and their wrapped gifts that the kids will be able to put under their tree for Christmas morning. The spirit of giving is alive in well in them.

This is the concept of Santa’s Workshop. This is a highly confidential and special service that Family Support for Ellicottville feels is a great way to give back to our community by helping local families in need. Throughout the year Family Support for Ellicottville directly helps families in the Ellicottville School District in a variety of ways. 100 percent of all monies donated to Family Support for Ellicottville remain in our community and support the needs that arise during these difficult economic times.  Family Support for Ellicottville (an affiliate of the Rotary Foundation for Youth) is a 501c3 charitable foundation so your donation is tax deductible.

How can you help? Save the date for the ninth annual Irish Christmas,  Friday December 6th at the Gin Mill located on Washington Street in Ellicottville. Once again Robert McCarthy has spearheaded this fun filled amazing event that will directly benefit the Family Support for Ellicottville group and Santa’s Workshop! Although a monetary donation is preferred so that we can purchase gifts for particular age groups, we also happily accept unwrapped gifts.  You can bring your donation to the Gin Mill on December 6th. There will be a live auction including handcrafted items from Ireland Irish whiskey, hotel and ski packages as well as many other wonderful items.   Back by popular demand this year there will be a special pie auction. Our locals have dug out their favorite recipes for pie, so you will see some extraordinary creations that you can bid on. This is always a fun event so mark your calendars.  Events start at 6:00 PM

Need help in figuring out ideas for gifts? Monetary donations are always the best but we can help steer you if you want to provide a gift. This year we will be servicing 100 plus recipients. The gifts that we need are those for every age and gender including parents, teenagers, and children. Some ideas would be flashlights, tools, hats, scarves, toiletries, watches, cologne and perfume, toys, electronics, games, etc…etc.. If you have any questions about the event or the project please call Mila at 997-9649.

What if I you can’t make it to Irish Christmas on the December 6th? No need to worry you can drop off your unwrapped gift or monetary donation at 47 Elizabeth St., between 10:00 AM & 3:00 PM or call 699-8758. Please drop off all gifts and donations by December 6th if you are unable to attend the fun filled evening at the Gin Mill. You can also send your donations to Family Support for Ellicottville, PO BOX 101, Ellicottville, NY 14731.

Support your community and help provide a special holiday for those that need a little assistance. Giver’s Gain! Happy Holidays!