From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 35 - November 22, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Free Christmas shopping for local youth

by Tiffany Turner

Shopping. The word has become synonymous with the holiday season and sometimes it seems like more of a chore than an exciting activity.

When you’re young, however, this is not the case. For kids, the excitement is still as strong as ever – the sense of accomplishment every time they pick out a gift for someone they love and just know it will be exactly what they have been hoping for all year.

In this true spirit of the holidays, Corrina Simmons has put together the fourth annual Kids’ Christmas Shoppe where any child up to the fifth grade is welcome to come shop for all the members of their family that reside in Pinedale. The best part – the shopping is free.

“Every year there has been more children shopping for gifts for their family,” Simmons said. “When I say shop, please understand there is nomoney involved, it’s free to all elementary children.”

The shop is funded wholly by donations from folks around town.While the items aren’t new, Simmons does ask that they be in good shape. Simmons welcomes just about anything but clothes, including scarves, caps, coffee mugs, hunting supplies, movies, candles, pictures, books, jewelry and toys.

“We have been blessed with a wonderful community that donates to the Kids Christmas Shoppe,” Simmons said. “Not to mention all of the businesses that also contribute to us.” The shop will be “open for business” at the Sublette County Library in Pinedale Dec. 12-16 (hours will be determined as the week nears).

“We want children to be excited about giving and thinking about someone else,” Simmons said. “No parents are allowed to help their children, we have helpers that wrap all the gifts for the children… The only thing we do when the kids come in is follow them around with a bag.”

The program truly allows children to decide what gifts they wish to give and what they believe their family members like. It also allows them to share the different things that they might like.

“Parents find out a lot of stuff about their kids they never knew,”Simmons said.

Simmons advises parents to remember that shopping takes time, so be prepared towait a little while for your children to finish up.

“There are so many children, but in order for us to do this we depend on your donations of anything that can be given to a mother, father, brother or sister,” she said. “Please, help us to make this year better than last.”

All donated items are kept in a storage unit until its time to shop. Simmons even makes the donation part easy – she will come to you and pick up any items you wish to donate. Anything left over at the end of the shopping week (Simmons said she almost always has a full trailer left) get donated right back into the community.

Leftover books will go to the library allowing them to keep what they would like and sell the rest as a fundraiser –any other leftover items will be donated to The Food Basket.

The shop welcomes volunteers (again, no money is involved with the program) and even has some local youth groups and other organizations planning to help out during the event.

If you would like to help out or make a donation to the program, call Simmons at 367-8885.

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