Santa’s se­cret helper spread­ing Xmas joy

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - CARLY GOOCH Visit www.face­book.com/ Santas-se­cret-helper135677490360682/ or search Santa’s se­cret helper on Face­book.

One Nel­son fam­ily is mak­ing Christmas ham­pers for those in need while they con­tinue to live ‘‘pay to pay’’ them­selves.

Mak­ing ham­pers for peo­ple un­der the name, Santa’s Se­cret Helper, the mother of two be­hind the char­i­ta­ble ac­tions wanted to re­main anony­mous.

When she was young, her mum would give to fam­i­lies in hard­ship and put presents un­der the Fifeshire Foun­da­tion and Nel­son Mail Christmas trees.

Now, mar­ried with young chil­dren of her own, she has con­tin­ued with the fam­ily spirit of giv­ing.

In its fourth year, the amount of boxes full of Christmas presents con­tin­ues to grow.

‘‘Last year we did boxes to Women’s Refuge. A police car came to our house and we com­pletely filled the back seat [with ham­pers] for them.’’

This year she said she would have about 12 boxes, two more than last year’s dona­tions.

Col­lect­ing the gifts for the ham­pers is a year long task as she buys the items on sale.

‘‘We’re not even rich, we just live by pay to pay. When­ever we have spare money, we buy end of line clear­ance stuff to put in the ham­pers. Some­times you can get stuff real cheap on clear­ance.

‘‘We don’t have to have all the fancy stuff, I’m just happy that my kids have got what they’ve got. OK, there’s fancy stuff com­ing out but they don’t need it, it’s just wast­ing money, espe­cially if they don’t use it.’’

She has ap­plied the same method of buy­ing for ham­pers to buy­ing for her chil­dren.

‘‘I buy all their presents through­out the year be­cause it’s way cheaper that way.’’

The ham­pers cover gifts for the whole fam­ily, from ba­bies to par­ents and in­clude clothes, toys and sta­tionery.

This year she said she was adding Christmas dec­o­ra­tions to the ham­pers ‘‘to make it a bit fes­tive’’.

At the end of Oc­to­ber, Santa’s Se­cret Helper and her fam­ily choose wor­thy or­gan­i­sa­tions to do­nate the ham­pers to, be­fore pack­ing them up and hav­ing them col­lected a fort­night be­fore Christmas.

She said it felt ‘‘re­ally good’’ to be able to give to fam­i­lies in need.

‘‘I know how hard it can be for other fam­i­lies.’’

Grow­ing up, she said she had a stay in a women’s refuge with her fam­ily.

‘‘That’s why we gave back to Women’s Refuge.’’

Santa’s Se­cret Helper has set up a Face­book page to en­cour­age the gift of giv­ing.

BRADEN FASTIER/ THE LEADER

Santa’s Lit­tle Helpers are look­ing for dona­tions of toys to give as Christmas ham­pers to those in need.

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