The Woodside High School Performing Arts Center looked like the inside of Santa's workshop Friday afternoon as roughly 50 parents from the school's Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) gathered to wrap gifts for low-income families.
Nearly 80 low-income Woodside High School families will be getting a merry Christmas that otherwise would not have been possible this year, thanks to the PTSA's Seasons of Sharing program.
The PTSA sets aside funds each year for Seasons of Sharing in order to be able to purchase holiday gifts for low-income families within the school.
Said Debra Adler, PTSA president, school teachers and guidance counselors help the PTSA identify the families within the school that they think have the greatest need for this assistance each year.
"Each year, it's growing," said Adler, explaining how the number of families identified as needing help has nearly doubled in the past few years from around 40 to nearly 80. "The need is getting greater and greater."
PTSA volunteers then personally call each of the families - this year, it was 76 - and asks them for gift ideas for each member in their family.
PTSA parents then sign up to go shopping and purchase gifts for these families. As the PTSA funds the program, the parents can then turn in their receipts along with the gifts and get reimbursed - but, says Seasons of Sharing committee chair Anne Kopf-Sill, many parents opt to not request reimbursement.
"Many don't turn in their receipts and instead treat it as a donation," Kopf-Sill said.
Then, another set of volunteers sign up to play Santa and deliver the presents to the local families.
Adler said, on average, each of the 76 families are receiving anywhere from $100-150 in gifts.
Kopf-Sill says the program also relies on donations from outside the PTSA as well. They welcome donations of generic gifts like fruit baskets, gift cards, blankets, hats and scarves, gift-wrapping supplies and more, to help fill in the gaps and give families additional gifts so that everyone in the family gets something they'll enjoy.
Anyone who would like to make a monetary, gift or supply donation to Seasons of Sharing can contact committee chair Anne Kopf-Sill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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