Every December, for the past five years, a collaboration of local organizations has pooled together their resources in an effort to put on a one-day winter wonderland experience.
Appropriately entitled Santa’s Workshop, this mecca of toys and holiday happiness seeks to give Christmas to underprivileged Menifee children who otherwise would go without.
The event has steadily grown since its inception in 2007, initially reaching 340 children the first year. Over tripling in reach, the Workshop was able to benefit nearly 1,300 children this year.
The Menifee Valley Community Cupboard coordinates qualifying recipients and their families, while the Menifee Chamber of Commerce orchestrates the day-of event. With the help of many other volunteers including the Rotary club, Kiwanis, and Cal Fire the occasion has grown not only in attendance but also in the extent of the day’s offerings.
Don Lunday of the Rotary Club remarked, “There is a lot of contribution. It’s a very committed purpose, a real effort of love.”
To try to describe the amount of love put into Santa’s Workshop would undoubtedly be an understatement. While the day stands to serve the children, it is also every bit a family affair.
The fun begins with a photo on Santa’s lap followed by a trip through toy land. With a helpful elf nearby, each child is allowed to wander aisles of age appropriate toys ultimately selecting two to take home.
The “toy store” is composed with the help of the Spark of Love Toy Drive contributions and monetary donations from the collaborating organizations.
From there the families enjoy ornament making, holiday themed games with prizes, the selection of goodie bag/ stocking stuffers, a stuffed animal, a family game to take home, and finally finishing off the festivities with a sugary sweet Christmas cookie.
The Sanchez family shared, “It has been an especially difficult year, this day has been a blessing.”
The Santa’s Workshop endeavor generates a great deal of happiness for many less fortunate families, but also touches anyone who steps through the auditorium doors. Seeing pure joy on the faces of so many children, that is what the Christmas season is all about.