GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — After more than 100 years of delivering gifts to kids in Kent County, the Santa Claus Girls is celebrating a long-awaited gift of its own- a new home!
President Tina Hudson told FOX 17 the space is in the greater Grand Rapids area, but would not give details on the exact location.
The new home is guaranteed for at least the next five years.
The nonprofit, which has a long history of helping families during the holiday season, had to cancel its gift distribution in 2020 after losing its facility.
The Santa Claus Girls resumed operations with a drive through style gift pick up in 2021.
"Just to be able to get back to how we've always done things in the past, with wrapping gifts, delivering gifts to the homes," said Hudson. "Last year we tried drive-through and we did our best, but we weren't able to service like a quarter of what we usually do."
The organization typically helps more than ten thousand kids in Kent County each year.
Children are given toys, books and pajamas, along with handmade hats and mittens.
Hudson said the group expects the need to be even greater this year, due to record inflation and sky-high gas prices.
"This way we'll just be able to serve more children with having a permanent facility," said Nancy Ditta, the Vice President of Santa Claus Girls. "That's our main focus, to give kids who would not possibly have a Christmas at all... you'll see kids looking out the window just waiting for Santa Claus Girls to come and bring them a gift. They're so grateful, so we never want this to go away."
Registration for families begins September 1st, with gift delivery scheduled for December 10, 2022.
Hudson said the Santa Claus Girls will begin to accept donations, once the group moves into the new home in early October.