Santa Clara Soroptimists got into the spirit of giving by helping 100 needy families shop for holiday gifts on December 15 at the group’s 26th Annual Christmas Store.
The store, which is an event held each year by the club, was open on the Haman Elementary School campus and allowed shoppers to browse the cafeteria to find the perfect gifts for family members.
“Gifts were from the parents or Santa, depending on the choice of the parents,” said Marilee Dunn, who co-chaired the event with Normal Elena Rios, in an email. “Safeway donated food for food baskets. [There were] gift cards of $25 from Target or Safeway, plus another $10 gift card from Safeway for meat. Parents then shopped for their children and could have the gifts wrapped by the “S” Club from Wilcox High School (This is our service organization at the high school sponsored by Soroptimist of Santa Clara).”
In addition to the in-need families, which were chosen from Haman, Scott Lane and Pomeroy Elementary Schools, Soroptimist Santa Clara invited families with members on dialysis and the group’s Women’s Opportunity Award winners – an award given to women who are reentering the workforce and are also the head of the household.
“We received a grant from Mission City Community Fund for $3,500, which helped with the cost of the project,” said Dunn. “Plus, [we used] proceeds from our First Annual Old Bag Luncheon and Handbag Auction.”
In addition to “buying” gifts for their children, parents left with a Christmas bag containing a toothbrush, dental floss, toothpaste and “lucky candy cane.” Local dentists donated the oral care bags. Gifts and food items that were not “bought” were donated to the Santa Clara Police Activities League.
All 17 members of Soroptimist Santa Clara got involved by purchasing the gifts needed to make the Christmas Store event a success.
Soroptimist Santa Clara’s First Annual Old Bag Luncheon and Handbag Auction was held in early 2012. The group will hold the event for the second year on February 23, 2013 at Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant on El Camino Real. For more information on the event, call (408) 241-7643 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.soroptimist.org for more information on Soroptimist Club International.