Santa Claus apparently has elves far beyond the North Pole.
Sherri Brockman is a card-carrying member of Santa’s Elves, and she recruited other elves in Watertown to do what Santa and his crew do best. They bring joy to children for Christmas.
Brockman started a Facebook angel tree two years ago for 75 children who live in Watertown, but she discovered some children were left out.
“It really started with a Facebook post, kind of like let’s help each other, kind of like a Facebook angel tree,” Brockman said. “People would send me messages with their lists, and I would repost them without any personal information. People would donate or I would buy stuff, whatever to make it happen.”
That was two years ago, and Brockman realized she could do more.
“But then I was like, this is great giving them Christmas gifts but what would be better would be a dinner with Santa,” she said. “We asked for the community center, and they let us use the community center. We had Santa and pictures with Santa and a lot of local restaurants donated food and stuff. We just had a really good time.”
After last year’s Santa’s Elves event, Brockman still wasn’t satisfied. So, she pushed to go even further.
“Last year, I didn’t feel like I was reaching the people who truly needed help, because they might not have Facebook or social media,” she said. “So I got a hold of the [Wilson County] Board of Education, and as long as they could put a disclaimer on any letter I sent, I could put a self-addressed, stamped envelope in another envelope and give them to the counselors to send home, because they knew who the kids were who really needed help.
“So out of 80 letters, 76 were sent back last year, and we had a total of 180 kids at the dinner last year. Of course, we were too big for the community center then, so we moved over to the fire department.”
Santa’s Elves is in its third year, and Christmas is fast approaching. The Santa’s Elves big event will be Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at the Watertown Volunteer Fire Station.
“I look for about 200 kids this year … A lot of folks are getting involved, and a lot of good folks are getting involved,” Brockman said. “We want to help every kid have an unforgettable evening with Santa. We will have dinner, games, stockings and pictures with Santa.”
“It certainly takes a village. I might have had the idea, but it takes a village. There are a whole lot of good-hearted people who want nothing out of it except to help these kids.”
While the children are busy with Santa, the gifts he brought with him from the North Pole will be privately picked up by the parents to be given to the children on Christmas Day.
“It’s basically a dream come true. It’s a dream I didn’t even know I dreamed. The mission is to make sure no child is left out this Christmas. We appreciate each and every one of you who make this possible,” Brockman said.
The Santa’s Elves big event will be Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at the Watertown Volunteer Fire Station. Volunteers are needed to help set up, serve food, clean and wrap gifts.
Other Events: Santa’s Elves will offer pictures with Santa on Dec. 1 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. at 215 East Main St. in Watertown. The cost will be an unwrapped toy for each person in a group or $10 a person.
Ways to donate: An account is set up at Wilson Bank & Trust for monetary donations. Unwrapped toys and stocking stuffers can be dropped off at 204 Fitness and Watertown Drugs. Toys can be purchased at Watertown Dollar General that are then donated to Santa’s Elves.
Request gifts: Submit the child or children’s ages, clothing and shoe sizes and a list of gift ideas by calling (615) 982-0913.