In Santa Clara there’s one local store that turns the annual Christmas retailing orgy on its head by giving away merchandise instead of selling it.
It’s the Soroptomist International of Santa Clara Silicon Valley’s (SISCSV) annual Christmas store, a now 30-year old tradition that helps families at or below the poverty line have a happier holiday and a more comfortable New Year. The Soroptimists stock the store using contributions and funds raised by the service club, as well as donations and special deals from local businesses.
On Dec. 6, 103 families went “shopping” in the Haman Elementary School cafeteria – but not for bargains. In addition to gifts for each of their children, shoppers went home with two bags of grocery staples to fill the cupboard; $25 gift certificates from Target, Safeway, or Skechers; small appliances like toasters or rice cookers; new blankets; and toiletry kits.
As always, Safeway was a leading donor to the event. “We’re beyond words for the support and donation,” says Soroptimist President Brigida Pacelli. Support also came from the Mission City Community Fund and Santa Clara Rotary. Local dentists donated dental hygiene supplies for each family, as well.
It also takes a boatload of volunteers to make the annual event happen. In addition to the service club’s members, Wilcox High School “S” Club members volunteered their time to help. “Just seeing everyone at the event was enough to cheer our holiday season,” says Pacelli. The event was co-chaired by Normal Elena Rios and Marilee Dunn.
On Feb 28, 2015 SISCSV will hold its fourth annual Old Bag Auction and Luncheon at David’s Restaurant, Santa Clara. This event provides most of the funding for the Christmas Store. For information call 408 -241-7643, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.