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Santa Claus Girls awaits goal

With about $9,000 collected so far, one of Grand Forks' oldest charities hasn't reached its goal for the year and welcomes public donations. Santa Claus Girls, which was founded by Herald employees 97 years ago, provides toys for needy children t...

Santa Claus Girls volunteers
Santa Claus Girls volunteers Doug Kamrowski and Tanasha Krull sort gift sacks Thursday Dec. 13 2012 in the community room at the Grand Forks Herald.JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD

With about $9,000 collected so far, one of Grand Forks' oldest charities hasn't reached its goal for the year and welcomes public donations.

Santa Claus Girls, which was founded by Herald employees 97 years ago, provides toys for needy children that are paid for by donations. Employees and nonemployees have been volunteering in the past month for the annual campaign, which started in late October.

The group has so far collected $9,167, and the goal this year is $18,000 to help more children in the community, said Anita Geffre, president of the group and the Herald's finance director.

Geffre said they usually receive the majority of donations after Thanksgiving. But it's still early and people can still donate, she said.

"We're on track," she said. "We think we're in good shape."

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Santa Claus Girls is also still waiting for applicants from people who need assistance, too.

"We'll accept applications as long as we can," she said.

The charity hasn't been working entirely on its own. UND's Staff Senate, for instance has also been helping.

Each fall, the organization organizes a donation drive and this year chose Santa Claus Girls and the Community Violence Intervention Center. It will collect toys on campus for Santa Claus Girls until Dec. 10, said Susie Kroetsch, staff senator.

After all of the donations are collected, Santa Claus Girls volunteers will buy, pack and deliver gifts to families by Dec. 13. Families can also pick up the packages at the Herald.

Volunteers can meet at the Herald for packing at 3 p.m. on Dec. 12. People willing to deliver the packages will be needed at 8 a.m. on Dec. 13.

Donations can be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, P.O. Box 6008, Grand Forks ND 58206-6008.

Call Johnson at (701) 787-6736, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1736 or send e-mail to jjohnson@gfherald.com .

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