Santa Claus will visit the Montelores Early Childhood Council for its annual Christmas family night event on Tuesday.
The nonprofit hosts a gift-giving night every December, but this year, Dollar Tree and the military family charity Operation Homefront have donated toys and books to the event for the first time. Organizer Katrina Lindus said Montelores plans to give away “hundreds of toys” for children ages 1-12 this year, as well as Scholastic children’s books donated by the Farmington-based Three Rivers Foundation. All families are welcome to attend, but Lindus is asking guests to RSVP ahead of time.
The Santa’s Visit Family Night is a special version of Montelores’ monthly family nights, which are always open to Montezuma County families. Between 80 and 90 children usually receive gifts at the Christmas event, but Lindus said she would like to see at least 100 this year, since Montelores has more toys than usual to give away.
She said most of the gifts would be “pretty lame for older kids,” but all family members are welcome to attend the party, which will feature food and festivities for all ages. Parents are asked to stay with their children instead of dropping them off.
Lindus said her favorite part about the event is being able to make children happy who normally wouldn’t receive anything for Christmas. At last year’s Christmas family night, a homeless family brought their teenage daughter, who had developmental disabilities.
“There was no way this family could give her anything for Christmas,” Lindus said. “We were able to make her holiday special.”
So far, 20 families have said they plan to attend the family night. Lindus said it’s important for guests to RSVP so that the Montelores volunteers can make sure they have enough food and presents for everyone. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Johnson Building on Broadway.