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
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