Thanks to the generosity of so many, 75 families from throughout the Kearsarge community now have gifts to open on Christmas day. The gifts were gathered through the Kearsarge Community Kids’ Christmas Project, an annual event coordinated through Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) in collaboration with area churches, businesses, civic organizations and individuals.

This year’s volunteer elves were Lauri Smerald and Sheila Wallace, both of Sunapee, and Debbie Seyfried of Springfield. They handled all the paperwork, communication and organization of gifts from the more than 30 sponsors who adopted families, as well as 45 cash donations used to purchase gift cards and any unmet requests. “From answering the Elf Line to last-minute shopping and distribution of gifts in space provided by Tracy Memorial Library, our elves did a great job,” says Cathy Raymond, Development Officer at LSRVNA. This was also evident through the sentiments of families receiving gifts. One parent said, “Thank you in advance for my kids’ smiles on Christmas.” Another stated, “It’s not easy to ask for help. We are grateful to be part of such a wonderful community.”

Community members also donated many extra items that families could choose from when they picked up their gifts. “We had donations of winter hats and mittens, books, stuffed animals, classic wooden toys and more,” says Raymond. “We are so grateful to all the ‘elves’ who make this such a special and successful event each year. It is a heart-warming, community-wide effort.”