Registered families in need across Clark County will receive packages, containing food and toys, delivered by Santa’s Posse volunteers on Dec. 17.
Santa’s Posse, a nonprofit organization, started in 1997 by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. The organization has been serving 1500 families annually. With many local families in need, Santa’s Posse needs more donations and volunteers before operations can expand to meet the increasing needs of the community.
Santa’s Posse started with serving 40 families in Clark County. The organization has grown to serve 1,500 families with 4,800 children receiving presents each Christmas. The need for aid has grown considerably, and Santa’s Posse cannot meet the demand with their current resources, board member Leah Lothspeich said.
“This is our second year of doing 1500 families,” Lothspeich said.
Santa’s Posse delivers toys and food to Clark County families in need. Recipient referrals to the program are provided by Clark County school districts and other local social services, including Columbia River Mental Health Services and Clark County deputies, Lothspeich said.
Santa’s Posse needs volunteers who can deliver packages on Dec. 17. Package pickup will be at Clark County Fairgrounds, starting at 8 a.m. Delivery drivers may request a number of families for package delivery. Food boxes and toy bags will then be loaded into the vehicles by Santa’s Posse volunteers. All deliveries will be contactless and made within Clark County. Online registration is encouraged but not required. Volunteers may register by visiting Santa’s Posse website, santasposse.org.
“When you deliver to those kids, those families, you know those kids will be getting something for Christmas. It makes you feel so good about being able to do something for someone,” Lothspeich said.
Organizing Santa’s Posse takes months of effort and planning, Lothspeich said. Volunteers must be coordinated, food for the boxes must be acquired and toys are purchased or sorted from donations.
“We’re a volunteer organization. This really does take more than just a couple months out of the year to put together,” Lothspeich said.
Lothspeich encourages locals to consider participating in Santa’s Posse, whether by donating or volunteering. With community support, the organization can accommodate the growing need for Christmas aid in Clark County.
“We always have space for people who want to deliver,” Lothspeich said.