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Santa Claus Shop Opens its Doors to Area Seniors and Families

The generosity of local donors help make the annual event a success.

Santa Claus Shop Chairwomen Beth Little, Stacy O'Connor, and Jenna Smith at Walmart Watchung.  shopping for the 47th Annual Santa Claus Shop. Credit: SCS
Santa Claus Shop Chairwomen Beth Little, Stacy O'Connor, and Jenna Smith at Walmart Watchung. shopping for the 47th Annual Santa Claus Shop. Credit: SCS

The following was submitted by the Santa Claus Shop:

On Wednesday, the Santa Claus Shop will open its doors at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 587 Springfield Ave. in Summit.

The Santa Claus Shop serves more than 1,000 struggling family members and senior citizens from Summit, New Providence and Berkeley Heights, who are referred by local social service agents. Santa Claus Shop guests personally select gifts for their family, which include a household item, new clothing, hat and mittens, and a new toy and book for each child.  

Santa Claus Shop clients will be treated to desserts and coffee compliments of the Grand Summit Hotel, Natale’s Bakery and Dunkin Donuts in Summit and New Providence; sandwiches provided by Zappia’s; and pizzas donated by Village Trattoria, Doria’s and Joe’s Pizzeria in Summit.

On Tuesday, December the Santa Claus Shop will also host a holiday celebration luncheon for seniors at the Vito A. Gallo building in Summit. 

This annual event operates solely on the monetary donations from area residents, charitable organizations and local businesses. With these donations the Santa Claus Shop can purchase the gifts that allow less fortunate neighbors to experience the joy of holiday giving without the financial burden.

This year’s generous donors include the Elks Lodge #1246 in Summit, The Summit Junior Fortnightly Club, The Bar Method - Summit, Beacon Hill Tavern, The Tea Pot, Hair Salon, Gearhart Law, Genualdi Orthodontics Associates, Kirusa, Berkeley Cleaners, Bouras Properties, Hall’s Garden Center and Florist, The Summit Luminary Fund, Stella and Dot, The Toy Professor and Westy’s Storage Center. 

The Santa Claus Shop chairwomen must also extend gracious thank you’s to the following members of the community who make this event possible and a success:

  •   The Staff Managers at Wal-Mart in Watchung who helped facilitate the selection and purchase of gift items for this year’s shop and provided additional dedicated staff during our shopping day to make for a very organized checkout process.  Wal Mart also donated warehouse space to store the gift items in its facilities prior to the event.  
  • Allison Smith, Laura Lattmann, Jama Vitale & Kate Forbes of New Providence held a luncheon toy drive at the William Paca Club.  Also, the past Chairwomen of the Santa Claus Shop hosted a coffee and toy drive in Summit in early November.  These events helped provide the needed toys for the Shop. 
  •  The Spielman family who personally select each book title for the Shop. 
  • Westy’s Self Storage in Chatham has donated trucks to transport items from Wal-Mart to St John’s Church and will also provide overnight storage for the merchandise. 
  •  Shop Rite in Springfield for donating large bags to carry home the presents.
  • Taylor Rental in Berkeley Heights for providing table rentals at a discounted rate; and
  •  The area school children and families who donated new hats and mittens.

The Santa Claus Shop chairwomen would also like to extend a special thank you to St. John’s Lutheran Church who allows the Santa Claus Shop to host this special event in their auditorium each year. 

The 2013 Santa Claus Shop is chaired by Summit residents, Stacie Collins, Carrie Fallon, Beth Little and Jenna Smith and co-chaired by Amanda Grainger, Kim Morander, Stacy O’Connor, Lisa Parkes, and Sarah Roberts.

If you care to support this wonderful cause and keep the holiday spirit alive for those in the community, the Santa Claus Shop chairwomen ask for checks to be made payable to SHIP, with Santa Claus Shop noted on the check’s memo line, and mailed to the Santa Claus Shop, P.O. Box 119, Summit, NJ 07901. The ability to make an online donation is also available via PayPal to santaclausdonations@gmail.com. Donations are happily accepted year-round. 

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