Donations welcome for Langley school’s Santa store

The students of Nicomekl Elementary will be going shopping on Dec. 17.

While not unusual, they will be shopping for others and the lesson to be learned is about the joy of giving.

The school has its Santa’s Workshop store, this year decorated in a gingerbread theme.

Students, no matter their economic circumstances, select one gift for each member of their household and even get it gift wrapped.

Santa, who was able to fit a visit to the school into his busy schedule in 2013, will again make an appearance on that day to tour the classes to talk to students about the joy of giving.

“When I went to school, we did a store like this,” head elf Sarah Bess Miller said.

This helps the kids go from “me, me, me” to thinking about others and the joy they receive from giving.

“We collect donations all the way up to Dec. 10,” Miller explained.

Then Santa’s helpers (a.k.a. Miller and other volunteers) ready the store which will be open Dec. 17, which just happens to fall right before the annual Christmas pancake breakfast cooked up by teachers.

Donations from the public are welcome.

What is needed:

• gently used items appropriate for students to give to family members.

• new, unused items such as bath sets, gift sets, housewares, decorative items, books, games, jewelry and fashion accessories as well as gift wrap, ribbon, and related items. (Think regifting.)

Miller noted that people are asked not to donate clothes and shoes because children don’t understand how to pick the right sizes for others.

As well, there is always an abundance of toys donated.

Any financial donations received are used to fill in any gaps as some categories don’t have as many items.

“We do really lack for the moms and dads, primarly dads table,” she said.

Miller said the school demographics include many families where extended family live under the same roof so the store provides all the kids an opportunity to be gift givers to their loved ones.

“This school has a lot of families that struggle at Christmas time to provide Christmas for their children,” Miller commented.

People can stop by the school with donations when it’s in operation (about 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) at 20050 53rd Ave. and email Miller to make arrangements outside of those hours (

What’s left after the children make their gift choices for their families doesn’t go to waste. School families can go in and pick up items for a nominal price. All that money then goes to provide items for the hampers and gift packages the school provides to several of its less fortunate families.

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