Starting today, from Tuesday through Friday, applications can be filled out and turned in at the Monroe and Loganville Fish locations for families requiring assistance through the Secret Santa Children’s Christmas. Applications can also be filled in from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The FISH locations are 700 S. Madison Ave., Monroe and 3210 Highway 78, Loganville.
Gina Griego with the Secret Santa program said she believes there will be upwards of 2,000 children requiring some Secret Santa assistance this year. Applicants need to apply in person and will need to have proof of residency, picture ID and social security information. These will be evaluated and those who qualify will be able to pick up their Secret Santa items in December.
Griego said on the other side of this equation, those people who want to donate to the Secret Santa can drop off items at several locations around town. These can be dropped at the FISH Thrift Stores, at the Monroe Fire Department or at the BBT in Loganville or in Monroe. They are looking for gifts between $5 and $15 and Griego said there is usually a shortage for newborns or children of junior high age.
“Gifts that work are maybe things with a sports theme, board games or craft kits,” Griego said. “And for the newborns – developmental games, stacking toys, those wooden puzzles, push and pull toys, things that help with hand/eye coordination – even teething rings.”
Griego said these can be dropped off up until Dec. 10, but the process will go on even past the cut off date in some instances.
“We work with the police and fire and the Red Cross – especially in cases of emergencies,” Griego said. “We work with the schools, but also other agencies. Not all those in need are school age. We don’t want a young mother, say with a 2-year-old, to miss out because the child is not in school yet.”