SUMMIT, NJ - Making changes necessitated by the pandemic, the Summit Santa Claus Shop will -- for the 54th straight year -- again open its doors to area families. The Shop provides complimentary holiday shopping to more than 400 low-income families and senior citizens from Summit and other local communities, including New Providence and Berkeley Heights, all of whom are referred by local social services agents.
Chaired in 2020 by Summit residents, Lauren Bialek, Susan Campbell, Maritess Manaluz and Marnie O’Connell -- and co-chaired by Elaine Chong, Nev DiPetrillo, Celia O’Rourke, and Teal Rodriguez --this year’s Santa Claus Shop will be held in the parking lot at St. John’s Lutheran Church, located at 587 Springfield Avenue in Summit. 'Shoppers' will be socially-distanced in the Church parking lot, where the families will get a bag of goodies assembled by the Shop's elves.
The Santa Claus Shop exists solely on donations and volunteers. With the monetary donations from area residents, local organizations and businesses, the Santa Claus Shop can purchase the gifts that allow less fortunate neighbors to experience the joy of holiday giving without financial burden.
To keep the holiday spirit alive for local residents in need, and this year more than ever, the Santa Claus Shop chairwomen ask for members of the community to consider giving. Checks can be made payable to SHIP, with 'Santa Claus Shop' noted on the check’s memo line, and mailed to the Santa Claus Shop, P.O. Box 119, Summit, NJ 07901. Donations can also be made at summitsantaclausshop.com. There, folks can also obtain more information, including ways to volunteer for, and offer support to, the Shop.