YWCA Celebrates Christmas in July

July 22, 2016

It may be hot outside, but it’s feeling a lot like Christmas at YWCA Central Alabama. Our annual Santa’s Workshop event, which provides gifts for hundreds of children in need, isn’t until December, but our elves started working early to meet the demand.

Members of the Birmingham Quilters Guild recently spent a day at the YW pre-sewing items so the children can finish them at Santa’s Workshop and give the completed projects as gifts. While parents are “shopping” for free gifts for their children, the kids make crafts they can give to relatives, teachers or friends.

The group made about 800 items, including fleece pillows the children will stuff, fabric snakes that the kids will fill with dried beans to make draft stoppers, and felt hats that can be decorated by the young artists.

“We love the YWCA, and this is a way for us to give back through our love of sewing,” Denise Yuill said. Guild members have helped with Santa’s Workshop since 2012, and they said they love seeing the joy in the children’s faces as they make gifts for their loved ones. “I look forward to it every year,” Kim Breeding said. 

As a result of the YW’s Christmas in July campaign, a number of organizations and corporate partners are pledging now to host toy drives in November. “It’s not too late to sign up,” said Mary Jane Gibson, coordinator of career and volunteer programs. “We’re asking people to commit now to collecting toys later at their office, place of worship or even within their book clubs so that we can make the holidays extra special for these very deserving families.”

Last year, the YWCA provided 3,736 toys and clothing items for 467 children. “The event keeps growing because the need is so great,” Gibson said. “We want to make sure we’re ready, so we’re getting an early start.”

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