Giving parents the ability to choose how they want to surprise their children 

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In Early December, we begin stocking our Santa Shop with a broad range of new toys, books, crafts and activities, as well as new clothes for children from ages 1 through 12.  The toys are donated — from individuals and organizations throughout the island — and the clothes are purchased throughout the year, generally at Deep Well discounts, by our veteran volunteer shoppers.


Parents come in at appointed times, either for a morning or afternoon shopping session, without their children present.  Shelves are re-stocked between sessions to provide a full selection for everyone.  As we hoped it would, the new program seems to bring greater joy to the children and a greater sense of dignity to the parents.

Although Deep Well has helped make the holidays special for thousands of children through the years, the debut of the Santa Shop in 2013 was a smashing success.  Why?...Because it empowered families to have greater involvement in their children's Christmas, with the opportunity to select the items they knew their children would like best.  And the kids were more surprised than ever!  Click above to see how donors make the magic happen from start to finish.


Another reason for the Santa Shop's success has been the generosity of individuals and organizations on Hilton Head Island.  Their individual gifts and numerous toy drives have always been the keys to making this and other Deep Well programs a real value to the community.  Some look at it as "giving back;" some help "just because" — no matter the reason, the spirit of giving is alive and well here.  


Families begin to register for the Santa Shop and a "Christmas basket" meal on Saturdays in November.


Last year, almost 900 children, ages one through 12, were able to select:

  • a toy from each of two categories

  • two books

  • an outfit or piece of outerwear

  • a ball or similar recreational gift

  • a game or stuffed animal

  • a bag of stocking stuffers





SANTA SHOP Wish List – 2019 

Greatest Wishes, Across all Age Groups of Children: 

  • Books, Books, Books! 

  • Stuffed Animals – every child receives one, so we need about 700! 

  • Batteries to power toys – mostly AA’s 

  • Board Games:  favorites include- 

           Pictionary       Connect 4          Monopoly 

        Sequence         Sorry           Mouse Trap 

Twister5        Crowns         Scrabble 

  • Sports Equipment- most popular are:

                  Scooters    skateboards         baseball mitts 

              Balls of any kind, but mostly soccer balls 

Want to Shop for a Specific Age Child? 

These items are great for Children ages 1-6: 

                          Baby Strollers            Paw Patrol toys       Grocery Carts with toy food      PJ Masks toys

                          Dress-Up clothes       Lion King toys         Cash registers                              Toy Story toys                                               Ethnic Dolls                LOL Dolls & toys      Construction car toys                 Pikmi Pops      

                          Doll Houses                Super Hero toys      My Little Pony toys                     Unicorn items                                               Sesame Street toys   Small riding toys      Little Live Scruff a Luvs       


Prefer to Shop for an Older Child?  These items are a hit with Children age 6-12: 

                         Skateboards                Scooters                     Books, especially ages 10-12        Craft KitsPre-Teen                                Make-up (teen)           Jewelry and                 Jewelry-Making Kits                        Lava Lamps       

                         Plush Throws and Pillows                             Magnetic Dart Boards                     Slime Kits

                         Walkie-Talkies, batteries included                   HairDorables                                Science Kits

Some people ask us, “Is it better to have MORE less-expensive toys, or FEWER high-quality toys?” 

Our recommendation is FEWER high-quality toys, so the child will have a present that lasts longer and they can hopefully enjoy for many months, even years.   

Toy donations are so appreciated and create delight and magic on Christmas morning.  Parents select each toy in person, ensuring every child receives a present for which they’ve truly been wishing and hoping.    Thanks to your donations, each child vetted and approved for the Santa Shop will receive 1 high-quality toy, 1 “budget” toy, 1 game or puzzle, 1 book, 1 stuffed animal, 3 little stocking stuffers, and

1 NEW clothing outfit OR 1 NEW jacket.   

For some children, this may be the only new toy or article of clothing they’ve ever had.   

Thanks for making the Santa Shop come alive for these children! 

Sincerely, The Deep Well Project Santa Shop Elves 

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