“We have gift certificates from a lot of businesses,” Boragine said. “And we have a lot of other great things people can bid on. We have quilts, made by the women at the Senior Center and by others, that are beautiful. They’re always some of the most popular items at the auction.”
What’s still needed is money, cash or checks made payable to Santa’s Helpers dropped off at Boragine’s salon or at Salisbury Elementary School, along with more gift certificates or other new items that will engage bidders and drive up the prices.
“One of the most important things people can do to help is to come to the auction and bid up the things being offered,” Capolupo said. “Turnout sometimes has been a little off, so we need people to reinvigorate the enthusiasm for the auction so Betty can buy the gifts for the kids in town. It’s come a long way, and I can’t tell you how hard Betty works to make sure every child is happy on Christmas morning.”
Cloonan works with local school officials, and applications for Salisbury’s Santa’s Helpers program are available at the nurse’s office at Salisbury Elementary School.
As important as toys are at Christmas, kids need clothing to get through the year. Cloonan interviews every family that applies to the program, and gifts are individualized for each. They may include winter jackets, hats, gloves, boots, sneakers, sleepwear, school outfits, even underwear.
And, of course, Cloonan tries to make sure that each child gets the favorite toy on his or her wish list. Everything is individually wrapped and everything is new.
“Who wants to get something used for Christmas?” Cloonan can often be heard saying. “Christmas is such a special time.”
For more information, call Cloonan at 978-465-8412 or Boragine at 978-463-4211.