WILKES-BARRE – Members of the “Valley Santa” program in Luzerne County said they are in need of donations and volunteers to read letters from thousands of letters from struggling families and their children.
The director of the Family Service Association of Northeast PA Helpline says that the “Valley Santa” program plans to provide more than 4,000 kids with toys and gifts on Christmas morning.
“”It`s gotten a lot colder recently, so heating assistance is getting a lot of calls. That`s changed peoples` priorities. They want to heat their homes as opposed to buying toys,” said Tom Foley. “It is the valley with a heart. That people are able to help when they can. When they can, they do it right.”
Volunteers that help “Valley Santa” spend a lot of time inside the Boscovs on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre, buying new toys and later wrapping hundreds of gifts.
Mary Ann Rubin told Newswatch 16 that she donates to “Valley Santa” every year, to make sure that underprivileged kids wake up to at least one gift underneath the Christmas tree.
“Instead of spending like $20 on somebody, spend $10 and give $10 to “Valley Santa,” said Rubin. “When a child doesn`t receive a gift, it`s the worst thing in the world. I don`t know how anybody can turn that away.”
Donations for the “Valley Santa” program can be mailed to PO Box 5276, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703.
Requests for gifts from “Valley Santa” can be mailed to PO Box 5268, Wilkes-Barre, PA18703.
Organizers said people or community groups interested in volunteering as a “Valley Santa” helper can call 570-829-1341.