Children shop for free event proves once again to be successful

Volunteer Sharon Stephens helps a youngster fill out their gift list for family members last Saturday.


MINDEMOYA—If you like to see kids with broad smiles on their faces at this time of the year, then the annual Children Shop for Free event usually does the trick. The annual event was held at Trinity United Church Manitoulin in Mindemoya this past Saturday.

“This is all the kids and grandkids talk about all year; they look forward to this all year,” stated one grandparent while children and their parents and grandparents waited for the opening of the door in the church basement for the event to commence.

As usual, there was a tremendous amount of items on display for youngsters to choose from to gift other members of their family for Christmas. There were all kinds of clothing, toys, gloves, tools, scarves, decorations, toys, books, art work, puzzles, toy stuffed animals, a special pet stuff table, and even jewellery to choose from.

Organizers again this year praised the tremendous support the event receives, with local residents having donated so many items for the event.

Volunteer helper Jim Munro helps a youngster find just the right present at the annual Children Shop for Free event.

Tom McQuay, one of the organizers of the event, also pointed out, “we advertised for helpers this year, and got several, including several young volunteer helpers, which is great.”

“We had approximately 50-60 kids on hand, which is down a bit from past years,” said Willie Munro. However, “the children brought home just under 700 gifts that were donated toward the event, which is tremendous. We had a lot of new kids show up including several younger children-which was terrific.”

This annual event was first spear-headed by the late Marion Seabrook.

Each of the customers was presented with a note that said, “we hope you all have a wonderful Christmas opening the secret gifts your children have chosen for you. We want these gifts to be a surprise, and that’s the reason we ask you not to go with the children when they shop. Please help them keep the secrets until Christmas. Don’t let anybody peek! Of course you will treasure whatever you get. Make wonderful memories. Merry Christmas!”

Those items not picked up by the children in this year’s event will be given to Manitoulin Family Resources to give to the Food Bank and those in need at this time of the year.