Eli McLemore with Santa.
While every boy and girl eagerly awaits Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve with a sleigh full of goodies, the children at Sunnyside Preschool & Kindergarten looked forward to his arrival this week. They want to make sure his sleigh is full enough to deliver to each and every housetop.
This year over 100 children and their families at Sunnyside will participate to fill Santa’s bag over and over before they clamber onto his lap for a photo and to inform him of what’s on their wish list this year.
“Many times at the top of their Christmas lists are the exact same things they just tossed into his bag,” says Cindy Petosa Brengman, the school’s owner and director. “I believe that the children have the idea that if it is in Santa’s bag, chances are it could very well be found under their tree on Christmas morning.”
The gifts are then donated to the Lake Stevens Family Center’s Holiday Giving Project to serve over 210 families in the greater community that are in need.
“Each year we have seen the needs grow tremendously,” says Brengman, “so much so that we wanted to bring even more awareness to the community, and a way to help, bringing hope and happiness back to families and children in need.”
To help them reach our goal of growing the Giving Project, the public is invited to bring unwrapped gifts or monetary contributions to Staples in Frontier Village between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., this Saturday, December 10.
Donors will enjoy free Santa photos with a personalized letter from Santa, along with hot cocoa and live music to celebrate the season of giving. Local sponsors for Santa’s Cause include Sunnyside Learning LLC, Staples, Starbucks, A Bostwick Photography, ROACH Media Group LLC and LindiMoo Music.
In addition to the Giving Project, Sunnyside’s Kindergarten class of 14, led by their teacher Ms. Katie Johnson, are coordinating Christmas for Sunnyside’s adopted family of six and making gifts once again for the adults with disabilities in Sherwood Community Services Career Connections program.
Some of the kindergarteners’ activities during their daily lessons include making the gift tags and writing names on them, brainstorming and making lists of what gifts each child or adult might like or need, stuffing stockings and making decorations for the tree. And the most valuable lessons learned? Compassion, empathy and that giving is very rewarding.
For further information on the Giving Project, you may contact the Lake Stevens Family Center at 425-397-7433.