Elves wanted

Each year at this time, nurses and social workers at area elementary schools identify the children who are in greatest need, and provide information on their ages, sizes and toy preferences to those leading the Elves Program. These leaders distribute the lists so that individuals, groups and organizations–“elves”– can purchase and wrap gifts for those children to receive during the holiday season, making sure that each child receives every item on a checklist: socks, underwear, a new outfit, pajamas, a hat and gloves, and a toy (all gifts are new). Elf leaders deliver the bags of gifts to the school where they are picked up by parents or delivered to the homes. The anonymity of the children and their parents is protected.

This year, the list of kids needing elves is long, according to Bill Alberta, founder and leader of the Elves Winter Holiday Program since 1989. He encourages everyone in the Cornell community and beyond to consider participating in this program, which in recent years has reached more than 900 children from 33 area schools each holiday season, and is expected to reach more than 1,000 children this year.

If you or a group in your work area would like to sponsor a child, contact any of the elf leaders listed on the program’s web site. You can pick a leader associated with a particular school if you wish, or use the general contact. They will provide you with the profile sheet for a boy or girl you sponsor and lists of the items you need to buy for him or her. Sponsoring a child costs approximately $100-$125.

If you would prefer to provide funds to the program, make a check payable to “The Elves” and send it to Maureen Brull in 130 Day Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. An elf shopper will then use your contribution to buy gifts for a child. There are no overhead costs; every penny contributed goes to buy new clothing and toys.

For more information, see http://www.elves.cornell.edu/.