By Heather Bell
RADFORD – Elf Shelf, Radford’s Christmas store, will be giving out gifts and more to make the holidays bright for many families this holiday season.
Cheryl Loving, Volunteer Coordinator of Elf Shelf, recently sent out a mass mailing regarding this year’s Elf Shelf efforts. Gifts will be given out in a drive-thru manner this year, as was the case last year due to COVID-19. Donation boxes will not be put out around the community, since volunteers will be fulfilling a wish list for each family, so monetary donations are more important than ever.
“It’s again time to think about Christmas and sharing love, support, and gifts through our annual Elf Shelf,” Loving wrote. “As COVID-19 is rearing its ugly head again, for the safety of all, we are going to go with our plan from last year rather than in-person shopping. Even though we had to change our procedures last year, with our wonderful shoppers and distribution volunteers, everything went very smoothly, and our efforts were met with much thankfulness and appreciation.
“Last year, even in the middle of a pandemic, we provided books, toys and gifts to 254 children and food vouchers to 165 families,” Loving wrote. “We are a community-wide effort involving many churches, schools, and civic organizations. Many individuals, teams, and clubs from Radford University also have helped us over our previous 27 years of existence.”
Families who are interested in signing up for Elf Shelf have a variety of ways to do so. Clients may register in-person at Grove United Church, one day only, on Saturday, Oct. 9, in a drive-thru.
“Clients will fill out an application, give Elf Shelf volunteers a wish list for their children, and receive a voucher based on the size of the family to shop for food at the nearby Food Lion,” said Loving.
Clients can also register by downloading applications from the Elf Shelf website or by picking up applications from the Radford Department of Social Services (DSS). The completed applications may be turned in at the registration on Oct. 9 at Grove United Church or dropped off at DSS.
Elf Shelf will distribute gifts the first weekend of December. Volunteers are needed to help shop before distribution and to help give out gifts on distribution weekend. Volunteers may contact Loving at email@example.com.
Participants may also send checks or money orders to Radford Elf Shelf, Box 2804, Radford, VA 24143.