By Kathy L. Collins
While you are out shopping for all of those fabulous holiday gifts this year, stop by the Sincerely Santa table located outside of Dillard’s at the Westfield Brandon Mall and pick up a letter from a child and help fulfill his or her Christmas wishes.
Sincerely Santa is a 501(c)(3) non-profit started in 1987 strives to provide at risk and underprivileged children in grades kindergarten through third with toys and clothes for Christmas. Cynthia Holcombe, owner of Jaymer-Que BBQ in Valrico and 6th Grade Ministry Director at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, has been an avid supporter of Sincerely Santa for over nine years.
Holcombe said, “I read an article about this program and decided that I wanted to have my sixth grade students take on a project that gave back to other children.” This started Holcombe on a path of real involvement with this organization. Holcombe, together with her husband, Jaymer, not only fulfill eight to 10 wishes, but they also donate tips and 10 percent of sales received during the month of December.
Participating in Sincerely Santa could not be easier. All you have to do is pick a letter and then shop for the child. You then return the gifts to the Sincerely Santa table. The gifts are delivered by local law enforcement and fire departments. One unique aspect of Sincerely Santa is that the letters are reviewed by teachers and social workers who determine whether there are siblings in the home. If there are, Sincerely Santa makes sure that the siblings receive gifts as well.
This year, 14 local Walgreens will have “wish list” items hanging on trees in their stores.
The Brandon Chamber of Commerce will host a Business After Hours event for Sincerely Santa on Tuesday, December 4 at 6 p.m. at the Sincerely Santa table.
The Sincerely Santa table will be open from Friday, November 23 to Sunday, December 16 during normal mall hours.
For more information on how you can help Sincerely Santa fulfill the wishes of children this holiday season, please visit www.sincerelysantatampa.com, visit them on Facebook or call Lisa Hall at 841-4605 or Deb Hoffman at 624-5194.