Sponsoring The Santa Claus Girls of Kent County has been an MLive-The Grand Rapids Press tradition as far back as 1959. They are an organization run completely by volunteers to deliver Christmas gifts to children in need, under the age of 12 in Kent County. Each gift includes a toy, a book and a piece of warm clothing. The Department of Health and Human Services, schools and churches provide names of families needing help. Names are also received over the telephone or online through their website.

As a company, we feel strongly about helping out in our communities. We feel it’s a part of our responsibility. Leading by example, it’s our hope younger generations will see the benefit of giving of one’s self. Taking time out of a busy day to ‘do’ for children who might not otherwise receive a gift, is more than heartwarming. Throughout the years many of our own employees have participated. Helping set up computers and phones, ordering supplies, volunteering to wrap gifts, financial donations, or helping deliver gifts to families on the designated day.

Knoll Industries is another organization with a long history of helping The Santa Claus Girls. For the last 6 years they have donated the space for the Santa Claus Girls’ “workshop.” Knoll Industries’ act of generosity allows more of the money donated to go towards the purchase of gifts instead of paying on a space lease.

The Santa Claus Girls current goal is to raise $200,000 solely from the donations of individuals, businesses and the community. Of every dollar donated .98 cents goes directly to helping thousands of children and their families.

Last year, The Santa Claus Girls provided (age appropriate) gifts to 13,105 children from 5,142 families in Kent County. To think those children wouldn’t have had presents for Christmas is heart breaking. It was all made possible by the hard work of over 370 volunteers and the money raised by our community.

Contributed by: Monica Donahue

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