Santa’s Posse bringing holiday cheer to 900 Clark County families

CLARK COUNTY — The holidays will be a little bit brighter for more than 3,100 Clark County children this year, thanks to the efforts of the volunteers who make up the Clark County Santa’s Posse.

Created in 1997 by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Rotary Clubs of Clark County, the Santa’s Posse was a way to give back to the community and support families who needed extra help during the winter holiday season.

The first Santa’s Posse delivered food and gifts to 43 families. This year, the community group has “adopted” 900 families and is providing gifts for more than 3,100 children.

Santa’s Posse bringing holiday cheer to 900 Clark County families
Clark County Undersheriff Mike Cooke (left) visits Target and Kohl’s stores in Hazel Dell to buy for gifts for some of the 3,100 local Clark County children ‘adopted’ by the Clark County Santa’s Posse. Photo courtesy of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office

“We are scrambling to gather enough toys,” state Santa’s Posse organizers on the group’s Facebook page. “This year we’ve adopted 900 families and over 3,100 children in Clark County. We need help from the community to make this possible.”

The group is collecting donations, which are tax-deductible, and looking for the following items: New, unwrapped toys and gifts for teens; non-perishable food; new and unopened personal care items; and cash/gift cards.

Donation sites are available through mid-December at the following locations:

Clark County Sheriff’s Offices (707 W. 13th St., Vancouver and/or 505 N.W. 179th St., Ridgefield)

Alpine Auto Body (7631 N.E. Highway 99, Vancouver)

KinderCare Learning Centers (locations throughout Clark County)

Fire District 6 Stations (locations in Vancouver and Ridgefield)

For a complete list of donation sites, visit www.santasposse.com.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Rotary Clubs of Clark County, Kiewit Construction, Fire District 6 and Kindercare Learning Centers, deliver the gift baskets to families prior to Christmas.

Volunteers are needed to help the Santa’s Posse wrap the gifts and assemble baskets for the families.

A Santa’s Posse Wrapping Night is planned from 5 to 9 p.m., Thu., Dec. 15. Volunteers from the community are invited to come to the Clark County Fairgrounds that evening, at 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield, to help wrap gifts and assemble the food and gift boxes.

There are no tickets needed to the event, but to help stock the food boxes, the Santa’s Posse is asking volunteers to please bring two canned or boxed food items with them to the event. The Santa’s Posse will distribute the food boxes and gifts on Sun., Dec. 18.

This year’s Santa’s Posse has a number of individual, community and corporate sponsors, including several local schools, Aloft Portland, Coldwell Banker Seal, Corwin Beverage Co., the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s ilani resort, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., Providence Health and WaferTech, LLC.

On Fri., Dec. 9, the Santa’s Posse announced on its Facebook site that WaferTech had “went above and beyond this year,” surpassing the company’s original donation goals: “WaferTech’s goal was to donate 4,000 pounds of food and 250 toys, but they’ve exceeded their goal and have collected 4,167 pound of food and 276 toys.”

Want to learn more about the Clark County Santa’s Posse? Visit their website at santasposse.com.

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About The Author

Kelly Moyer has been reporting for community newspapers since the mid-1990s, including the Newport News-Times on the Oregon Coast; the Lewistown Sentinel, a daily newspaper in central Pennsylvania; the Gresham Outlook, Wilsonville Spokesman, Sherwood Gazette and South County Spotlight newspapers in the Portland metro area; and The Reflector newspaper in Battle Ground, Wash. She also is the former managing editor of Midwifery Today, an international magazine for birth professionals. Kelly, a University of Oregon alumnus and Pennsylvania native, lives with her family in Northeast Portland.

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