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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Santa’s Cause for Kids collecting new, unwrapped gifts for children in need

by Sylene Argent

The jolly man in red is a busy guy and needs help every year to put gifts under the tree for every good little boy and girl on Christmas morning.

  With the holiday season newly underway, some area businesses are already collecting new, unwrapped gifts for the annual Santa’s Cause for Kids program.

  Through this program, area residents and local shoppers are able to purchase an unwrapped gift and place it in a collection depot located at one of the many participating businesses. Organizers of this local gift-giving initiative, including area firefighters and police officers, then spend a morning collecting the donations and dropping them off at the Essex Salvation Army, the Essex Area Food Bank, the St. Vincent de Paul Chapters in Harrow and McGregor, and the Zeta Kappa Sorority for its Santa’s Sack program. These service organizations then sort and distribute the donations to families facing economic hardships through their Christmas toy-giving initiatives.

Program organizer, Constable Joe Meloche of the Essex (M) OPP, appreciates the support the toy drive has received in the two-decades it has been operational. He hopes community members will do what they can to ensure every child in the area has a memorable Christmas morning.

  Meloche began the Santa’s Cause for Kids initiative in 2001, when he noticed there was a need to be filled in the community. He continues to be grateful for the support from community members and participating businesses.

  Area residents and patrons in the position to give can drop off a new, unwrapped toy at a variety of local businesses, including the Essex Home Hardware, Dollar Tree, Ken Knapp Ford, the Harrow Dollar Discount, Atlas Tube, Ken Lapain & Sons, and Red Apple, or wherever they see an official “Santa’s Cause for Kids” donation drop-off sign.

  Those wishing to donate to the program can do so at these participating locations until December 17. At that time, members of the OPP and Essex Fire & Rescue will team up to pick up all the donations from the collection sites.

  After the pick-up date, donations can be dropped off at Essex Fire Station #1 during regular business hours. Santa’s Cause for Kids will also collect gift cards for youths, aged 16-18. Donations of gift cards can also be dropped off at Essex Fire Station #1.

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