A group of Oxford residents and businesses are joining together this holiday season to provide for five Oxford area families with some special needs and wishes through proceeds earned this weekend at the fourth annual “Santa’s Workshop 38655.”
The event is open to the public and will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Castlehill.
Now in its fourth year, the “Santa’s Workshop 38655” fundraiser event is organized by the “I Am Brave” Foundation.
“This year, we asked various charitable organizations, school counselors, social workers, ministers, and local families if they knew of community members who have had a hardship or who might have a special need,” said “I Am Brave” co-founder Deanna Thompson.
The foundation selected five families from nomination by community members.
“We have been approached with needs such as a cooling vest for a 7-year old here in Oxford who has Dravet syndrome that can cause him to have seizures if his body temperature gets too high,” Thompson said.
Other families who will be honored this year include two families that have lost parents and others with serious medical issues.
Last year, the event supported 3-year-old Jack Morton of Oxford and his family. Morton was diagnosed with CLOVES Syndrome the previous year.
Current Lafayette Elementary kindergartener, Lily Baker, was the recipient for Santa’s Workshop in 2017 while Lily was fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Lily completed her chemotherapy treatments at St. Jude just this fall.
In 2016, the event began as a fundraiser for Kim McGregor a young lady who was suffering from breast cancer.
“Hosting this event has brought a lot of Christmas cheer to the children in our community and their families who attend but also to the families we have been able to help,” said co-founder Shalonda Smith.
This year’s Santa’s Workshop 38655 will not only feature face-time with Santa, but several activities to help kids get into the holiday spirit.
“Along with our professional photos, this year kids can make an edible Christmas tree and a beautiful keepsake ornament craft for their tree,” Thompson said. “There will be a cocoa and cookie stop, letters to Santa written in the North Pole mailroom, and a special play area for kids to try out some of Santa’s creations.”
Several businesses in Oxford have donated supplies, cookies, snacks, decorations, and sponsored the event.
Pre-purchased tickets are $12.50, and tickets can be purchased at the door for $15 each. The cost of a ticket is reduced to $10 each for two or more children. This applies to online and at the door purchases.
Visit Santa’s Workshop 38655 on Facebook for more information.
Hottytoddy.com staff report