“There is a greater need, but we’ve been able to fill that need, plus some,” Assistant Principal Tia Hawkins said. “We’ve not had a shortage of items that are needed, the kids have had plenty to select from.”
The Santa Shop operates by giving students who otherwise may not have had the means the chance to select a gift for their parents. Popular gifts this year ranged from Georgia Bulldogs-related items to lotions and fragrances.
“Small items are usually best and [the Santa Shop] is set up into different departments,” Hill previously said. “We have a Christmas decoration department if someone wants to get a Christmas ornament, the ladies department will have perfumes, bath supplies, lotions — we try to make up little gift bags of that —, a jewelry department, a housewares department with decorations and the men’s section will have things like books, movies, colognes, socks, hats, gloves, tools, fishing things, anything for guys — and that’s what we’re usually short on. Moms get taken care of really well.”
Program organizer and school Attendance Clerk Julie Hill said this year there were more than 1,000 items donated to the Santa Shop.
“We’ve been getting boxes upon boxes and bags upon bags [of items],” Hill said. “The sixth graders, who have never done this before, they have no idea.”
Both Hawkins and Hill said the Santa Shop would not be possible without its volunteers.
“There is no way we could do this without community support,” Hawkins said. “As much as our teachers love these kids and want to help, there’s just not enough to fulfill the need.”