LITTLE ELM — What began as a way to ensure that no child in Little Elm would wake up on Christmas morning without a present to unwrap has grown into an annual community-wide program. Registration for this year’s Santa’s Elves program will occur from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. during each Thursday evening in October in the Little Elm Public Library’s Programming Room.
“Santa’s Elves provide gifts to Little Elm children who are not part of any other gift-giving program, and not enrolled in the public school system,” says Kathy Phillips, Town Secretary and one of the original Santa Elves’ coordinators. “Families with kids from babies to 12 years old who are home-schooled, in alternate schools or have special needs are welcome to register.”
During registration, parents deliver a completed application along with a picture ID, proof of residency such as a water or electricity bill, and proof of income. Blank applications can be picked up during regular office hours at the Little Elm Library, located at Town Hall, 100 West Eldorado Parkway and Utility Billing is on the second floor of the building.
There is no charge for participating in the program
Registration is restricted to the evenings of Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. These evenings are the only opportunities to register. Families with children who are receiving gifts from other programs in the area are asked not to apply, since Santa’s Elves gifts are limited, and the emphasis of the program is to provide presents to those children who would otherwise not receive one.
“We want every child to spend Christmas morning unwrapping a present,” said Phillips. “Our goal is to make sure each child is remembered and feels loved.”
The program obtains toys or monetary donations from local businesses, community groups and generous individuals, then matches gifts with requests from participating families. All funds collected by the program are used to purchase the gifts.
Each coordinator and helper is a volunteer, donating their personal or vacation time to coordinate the registrations, catalogue and store gifts, match presents with requests and distribute the gifts to the appropriate families.
Most of the volunteers are Town of Little Elm employees and their family members.
“We actually get a lot out of it. Even though volunteers spend countless hours of their own time to ensure the program is successful, we get the satisfaction of knowing that kids will be enjoying their Christmas morning,” Phillips said.
More information can be obtained by contacting Phillips at (214) 975-0404 or Ida Orlds (214) 975-0454.