Donations update 11/23/14

Thank you to the following people and organizations that have recently donated to the Santa Claus Girls. Your generous donations of time & money make this very successful program possible!

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, PO Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Donations update 11/16/14

Each year, the Santa Claus Girls help hundreds of children — in Grand Forks &
East Grand Forks — have a Merry Christmas who otherwise might not have the
opportunity. We can’t accomplish this without your generous donations and your time. This year 750 children will receive a gift package containing toys, socks,
mittens, books & a bag of candy. The cost of providing this small package to
each child amounts to $18,000 per year.

Thank you to the following people and organizations that have recently donated to the Santa Claus Girls. Your generous donations of time & money make this very successful program possible!

Anonymous $200

Anonymous $20

Anonymous $80

In honor of our children, grandchildren & great grandchildren
by Duane & Lil Denney $200

Greater Grand Forks Area Local American Postal Workers Union $500

Jay D. Mondry $75

Truman & Judy Bratteli $50

In memory of my beloved husband, Jim, by Marilyn Rood $25

Anonymous $100

In memory of our Grandma & Grandpa Kerley by Jada & Ryder Burke $25

Lois Winzer $20

In memory of Grandpa Bob by Dylan, Braden, Bella & Bryse $25

In memory of Bob Huus by Sue Huus $25

In memory of Dorine Apanian $25

In memory of my sister, Marge Raasakka, by Eileen Nelson $50

In memory of Donald D. Korfhage by Mary Lou Korfhage $25

Larry & Janet Eickman $25

South Forks Lions $100

Rod Mittelsteadt $20

Judy Ludtke $100

Riley & Tyler Thoreson $50

Vivian Finnie $25

Lowell Schweigert $25

Anonymous $80

Total as of 11/16/14   $2,345.00

Goal $18,000

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, PO Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Who are the Santa Claus Girls?

Who are the Santa Claus Girls and what do they do?  With this blog you will learn more about this group of volunteers and the wonderful things they do each year.  We will also feature names of those from the community who have contributed monetary donations.

For this post, I’d like to share with you an article on the history of the Santa Claus Girls written by Brandi Jewett, a Herald staff writer.  The article was published Nov 24, 2011 in the Grand Forks Herald.

Gifts from Santa’s Girls, Charity hopes to raise $15,000

By Brandi Jewett, Herald Staff Writer

Herald File Photo:  Pictured at a working session from days gone by are some past members of the Santa Claus Girls. From left are Roberta Bertram, Ruth Christenson, C.C. Orr, Mrs. Charles Prazak, Mrs. Arthur Bakken, Mrs. William Weisser, Mable Guy, Mrs. Fred O’Neil, Mrs. Victor Chase, Mrs. H.H. Matt, Mrs. S.L. Lyons, president, Mrs. Leonard Driscoll, Mrs. I. A. Osmundson, Mrs. R.R. Mercy and Mrs. Walter Kuta.

After nearly 100 years, Grand Forks’ oldest charity is still providing toys to families in need.

Santa Claus Girls, founded in 1916 by Herald employees, creates gift bags for community children using donations contributed by the newspaper’s readers.

“Originally, many gifts were made by the women of the Herald and other community volunteers,” Anita Geffre, the Herald’s finance director and president of Santa Claus Girls. “Mittens, stockings, doll dresses and other items were sewn and the women would meet once a week to work on items.”

Charitable origins

Santa Claus Girls was created during World War I. During its first year, the organization received $270.23 in donations, which was used to give more than 300 children homemade presents.

Last year Santa Claus Girls gave gift bags to more than 700 children from about 300 families.

Once the items are purchased they will be packed and delivered to families on Dec. 9, Geffre said.

Families can also pick up their gift bags at the Herald.

Though employees are the primary gift packers, members of the community also assist. “I think it’s something that’s part of their Christmas tradition,” Geffre said. Geffre said.

The organization hopes to meet its goal of $15,000 this year. Names of children are submitted by Head Start, schools, churches and community members, and each nominated child receives a gift bag stuffed with goodies, Geffre said.

“We pack and deliver a package containing, socks,  gloves, candy, a book, a toothbrush and a toy for each child,” she said.

Donations can be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, PO Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation. 

Click here to download a form

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Donations Update 11/9/14

Thank you to the following people and organizations that have donated to the Santa Claus Girls. Your generous donations of time & money make this very successful program possible!

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Lori Baglien   $25

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Teresa Dahlstrom  $25

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Scott Swygman  $25

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Kathleen Gasparini  $25

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Jean Ann Browson $30

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Norma Myers  $20

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Colleen Zick $20

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Becky Hulett $20

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Janet Devillers $10

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Gary Lloyd  $10

In memory of Dorothy Horner by Anonymous  $65

Tom & Charlotte Gregerson  $200

Total as of 11/9/14   $475

Goal $18,000

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, PO Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Grand Forks Herald Santa Claus Girls charity prepares for another holiday season

By Jennifer Johnson  Nov 1, 2014

One of Grand Forks’ oldest holiday charities is gearing up for another run this year with a goal of $18,000.

Santa Claus Girls, run strictly by Herald employees and other volunteers, is seeking volunteers to deliver gifts the morning of Dec. 12, according to Anita Geffre, the newspaper’s finance director who spearheads the effort.

Volunteers help package gifts for about 750 children, the names of which are all submitted to the charity by schools, churches, community members and Head Start.

Last year, the charity raised more than $18,000 in addition to other donations and organizers say they hope to do the same again this year.

The event’s kickoff is Thanksgiving Day.

Jen Ekberg, Herald multimedia sales consultant who also buys the toys each year, said every household is “more than excited” to get its package.

“They are so grateful every time we stop at their door with our Santa hats on,” she said. “I’ve been thanked and blessed more times than you can count. They’re just so thankful that we’re there to help give their kids a better Christmas.”

History

Former managing editor Tom Parker Junkin first spoke of the charity in a 1916 newspaper.

He described volunteers as “bright-eyed and earnest young women, full of the enthusiasm of the Christmas spirit.”

Considered the charity’s founder, he introduced the idea to Herald employees after arriving from Michigan, where he’d heard it worked well in another city for several years, according to a 1977 column by former editor Jack Hagerty.

Over time, the charity has been successful. Fundraising in the early years amounted to about $200, but grew to thousands in later years.

A former publisher once tried to turn the national spotlight on the charity’s efforts. In the early 1980s, Michael Maidenberg contacted famed news anchor Charles Kuralt to get the Santa Claus Girls featured on his “On the Road” show.

About one month after the gifts were packaged, Kuralt wrote Maidenberg with regret but thanked him for the idea.

“It was thoughtful of you to send the information along to me, and I wish I could have been there,” Kuralt wrote.

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Thanks to you – we have reached our goal!

Thank you to the following people and organizations that have donated to the Santa Claus Girls.  We have reached our goal thanks to your generous donations!  

Cynthia Keaveny  $50.00

In memory of Brother Gerald by sisters  $25.00

Red Ray Runners Wednesday Morning Coffee Bowling League  $65.00

Larry Laughlin  $50.00

In memory of Patrick Lloyd Rath by Gary & Maxine Walter  $25.00

In memory of Chris Landa from Rogers & Juve family  $30.00

In honor of Kristen, Megan, Nicole & Abby by Lowell & Marian Nelson  $20.00

Selliken Excavating  $25.00

In memory of Esther Frelich by Joe & Joyce Zunich  $50.00

Anonymous  $40.00

Zion Lutheran (Rural Hoople) Christmas Project  $50.00

Remembering a wonderful father & grandfather, Doug Fontaine by Keith, Becky, Ryan, Chris & Callie Ronkowski  $30.00

Helen Moen  $25.00

Anonymous  $100.00

Anonymous  $50.00

To honor the Alerus Financial TAC team  $100.00

In honor of my/our great grandchildren Max Elijah Carter and Averey Wardner from GG Delisle  $20.00

Total as of 1/5/14   $18,160.00

Goal $18,000

Donations are always welcome.  If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, PO Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Donations update as of 12/22/13 – almost there!

Thank you to the following people and organizations that have donated to the Santa Claus Girls.  Your generous donations of time & money make this very successful program possible!

J.C. Penney Retirees  $55.00

Twin City Financial  $100.00

Anonymous  $15.00

PS Doors  $1,000.00

In loving memory of Bradley James Holweger by Mom & Dad  $25.00

In memory of Clifford Martin and Carol Dean Brenna by Mary Martin  $50.00

Charles & Mary Gust  $10.00

Six Shades of Grey Book Club  $120.00

Norma Jean Bennett  $25.00

Fraternal Order of Eagles  $1,133.00

Total as of 12/18/13   $17,405.00

Goal $18,000

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, PO Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Thank you Surplus Center of Grand Forks!

THANK YOU to Surplus Center of Grand Forks for donating the string we use to tie the Santa Claus Girls bags.

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Donations update as of 12/18/13

Thank you to the following people and organizations that have donated to the Santa Claus Girls.  Your generous donations of time & money make this very successful program possible!

In memory of Dennis Goetz by Darlene Goetz  $25.00

In memory of Lorraine Hartmann Rauser by Tom Hartmann  $50.00

Larry & Maureen Barker  $25.00

Natalie & Gina Wald  $100.00

GF American Legion Aux Past Presidents Parley  $25.00

Anonymous  $20.00

“Claus was Here”  $100.00

In memory of Shirley Ellingson by Curtis Ellingson & family  $50.00

In memory of Tony by Stan & Jean Smestad  $25.00

Joseph & Juanita Peterka  $30.00

In memory of our parents by Dennis & Bonnie Carroll  $50.00

Donald & Sharon Neevel  $25.00

In memory of Ann Driscoll Mondt by Joyce Barrett  $10.00

In memory of Earl (Squirt) Behm by Margaret Behm  $50.00

David & Clarice Grubb  $100.00

Bernice Sauer  $20.00

Mike & Katie Marcotte  $100.00

Total as of 12/18/13   $14,872.00

Goal $18,000

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, PO Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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Thank you Deek’s Pizza!

THANK YOU to Deek’s Pizza of Grand Forks for donating $3,400 dollars in free pizza coupons which were included in all the Santa Claus Girls packages!  

If you would like to help, donations may be sent to Santa Claus Girls, Grand Forks Herald, Box 6008, Grand Forks, ND 58206-6008.  We have included a form you can download and print out to send in with your donation.

Click on the HERE to download a donation form

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