Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg and Santa provide Christmas for 46 children

Children eagerly await for Santa to get busy after his arrival at the Kiwanis Christmas party.

As has been the tradition for more than 40 years, the Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg held its annual children’s Christmas party recently. Forty-six children and their parent(s) gathered at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church where they ate pizza, received gifts and met Santa Claus.

The process that led to the Christmas celebration began with the local teachers providing the Kiwanis Club names of children in need. They also provided a list of the clothing needed and the toys desired. Once the names were received, each Kiwanian took a name and bought clothes for the child he selected. Items of clothing purchased included coats, shoes, boots, pants, shirts and underwear.

On the Saturday before the event on Tuesday, Kiwanis members went on a club-funded 6:00 a.m. shopping spree at Walmart and purchased toys for the children. Afterwards, the toys were taken to Christiansburg High School where they were wrapped by the school’s early childcare education class. Then on Tuesday, the toys were delivered to St. Paul where Santa presented the gifts of toys and clothing from the Kiwanis members to the children.

The children enjoyed pizza and drinks and joined in singing Christmas carols while they waited for Santa’s surprise entrance. Santa and his helpers called the children forward and presented them their gifts. Each child left with a bag of toys and a bag of clothes. Each family was also given a bag of food by the club.

Kiwanis members provided transportation to the children who needed a ride to and from the event. The members and the club spent in excess of $10,000 for the clothing and toys this year. The cost of the gifts and the event were shared by members and the club. Club funds came from fundraisers held during the year.

Kiwanis member Dennis Hunter, who headed up the children’s Christmas party, checks his list twice at Walmart with his carts loaded with toys.

Club members express their appreciation to Walmart and its employees, Pizza Inn, Joco Mart, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Rice Realty and Santa for helping to make Christmas possible for these children.

Special kudos are due to Kiwanian Dennis Hunter who chaired the event for the Club and the club members who did all the work.