Santa's Workshop Brings Early Christmas to Local Children Nov. 30

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Nov. 27, 2007

by Devany Severin, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Transformed into a winter wonderland piled high with gifts, the McLane Student Life Center on Baylor's campus will host Santa and Mrs. Claus as they greet Waco children in the gym from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 30. The 15th annual Santa's Workshop will be co-sponsored by Aramark, Baylor's Physical Plant, Scholastic Books and W Promotions.

Approximately 800 children will participate in the event, which began in the early 1990s. The Workshop provides toys for underprivileged children between the ages of 3 and 5 from the Waco community.

"Santa's Workshop gives the Baylor community a unique opportunity not only to connect with local kids in need, but it also allows community members to be kids for a little while themselves," said Karin Klinger, assistant director of student activities and student organizational development.

Volunteers will help pass out presents, play with kids and dress up like elves to deliver gifts. Gifts for the children are donated by Baylor faculty, staff and students through a toy drive that began in November.

At the event, children will receive lunch and a goody bag containing snacks and small toys. In addition, they will have the chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and other characters. "Watching the kids gasp with wide-eyed awe at the decorations and seeing the kids light up when they see Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bruiser Bear, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus is one of my favorite parts of the event," Klinger said.

The deadline for toy and cash donations has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 28. Toy donation boxes can be found in numerous locations on campus, including the residence halls, Baylor Sciences Building and the Student Union Building. To donate money, make checks payable to Baylor University and drop them off at the Student Activities office in the Student Union Building.

This year nine students served on the student steering committee that organized the event. The students work as campus liaisons and logistics coordinators, toy drive coordinators, volunteer coordinators and community involvement coordinators.

A gift wrapping party for presents to be distributed during the event will take place in conjunction with Christmas on 5th Street from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Beckham Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Everyone is welcome to volunteer their time.

For more information about Santa's Workshop, contact Klinger at (254) 710-6936.

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