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La oz Nueva - The Spirit of Christmas Lives In Us

January 21, 2009
La Voz Nueva Posted on 12-17-2008 The spirit of Christmas lives in us Don Bain The economy may be troublesome and the news may all be dim, but the spirit of giving is alive and well all along the Front Range. The Denver Santa Claus Shop is believed to be the oldest charity of its kind in the nation. This organization has dedicated itself to seeing that every boy and girl has a toy for Christmas ever since 1931 and is the metro area’s largest holiday toy drive for needy children – in 2007 they provided almost 14,000 area kids with toys. The group depends on the generosity of people, companies and organizations to donate toys, receives support from the annual 9Cares/Colorado Shares drive and partners with King Soopers as a drop off site for new and gently used toys. Last weekend the Denver Santa Claus Shop opened for parents referred by local organizations such as the Dept. of Human Services, the Salvation Army and Volunteers of America. The parents came into “shop” for toys for their children at no charge. Not only are the children delighted to have a toy they didn’t expect, parents gain the simple human dignity that comes from providing a present to their child at Christmas. The Santa Shop requests timeless toys such as dolls, trucks, balls, books and games for newborn children and up through 11-year-olds. Nearby in Broomfield, the high school nearly shut down last Friday as the students went out of their way to help the neediest of the families from Lafayette’s Clinica Family Health Services. The school’s honors society comes together annually, raising funds or using their own money to provide clothing, food for a week including Christmas dinner plus a gift for every member of their adoptive families. Meanwhile in Lafayette, the Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center has adopted 24 families from the area and is working with Santa to see that gifts are delivered to each and everyone. Working from wish lists, the hospital seeks to fulfill the holiday dreams of the families which include things like clothing, toys, books, dolls, games, art supplies, shoes and coats. This year they have adopted families from Clincia Campesina and Santa will be joined by the friendly, furry dogs of the pet therapy program. For these families, Christmas came Dec. 15 in Lafayette. “We had a room full of toys and gifts and Santa was there visiting with the children,” said Sharon Burnette, a representative of Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center. “Also, we have several dog teams that visit with patients and since everybody seems to like dogs, we brought them down to visit with the children. It was very special.” So remember when you pass by the buckets with the friendly bell ringers, as bad as things may be, they are much worse for some. The spirit of Christmas really comes down to kindness, generosity and tolerance doesn’t it? We hope it’s alive and well within you.