By Jean Schurman
With angels to help shoppers and elves in the back wrapping presents, you would have thought the Clothes Closet in Stevensville had been transformed to the North Pole on Saturday. The event was the second annual Kids Shopping Day. With more than 50 youngsters going through the store in the first 45 minutes, organizers were hustling every which way to make sure everyone was being helped.
Nancy Slabaugh-Hart, one of the organizers of the event, met each child in the foyer of the Clothes Closet. After talking to the parents, each child was assigned an angel to help them with their shopping needs. The children were then taken into the shop where they could select a present for their mother, father and any siblings they may have. Each angel listened intently as the child described what they might be looking for in a gift. Once the gifts were selected, the children then moved to the back of the room where the hallway had been converted into 11 gift wrapping stations. A few more volunteers were waiting outside to see if the children needed school supplies.
In all, there were more than 30 angels who donated their time to the cause. There were at least 11 gift wrappers in the back and several more volunteers handing out cookies and hot chocolate to the parents while they waited for their kids to finish shopping.
The gifts, all new, are generously given by people from throughout the community and the valley said Slabaugh-Hart. One donor had given money specifically to purchase presents for men. Others contributed money for wrapping paper. In all, Slabaugh-Hart expected to have more than 100 shoppers go through the doors on Saturday.
“This valley is amazingly generous,” said Slabaugh-Hart. “We had items stored all over town for this.”
One angel was overheard saying, “We need some happy time right now.”