Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc. is gearing up for its 2020 Santa Store Christmas program which provides its clients the opportunity to Christmas shop for their children.

DVP will fill the store with age-appropriate toys and items and the parent will be able to choose gifts for their child at no cost to them. DVP is asking for the community to help make this project a success by donating toys or making a financial contribution so that they can help provide an entire Christmas for kids in need.

“This program puts a smile on these families’ faces who’ve been through a rough time. It helps our clients gain self-esteem because they are able to provide a great Christmas experience for their children when they otherwise may not have had the opportunity,” said James Roberts, DVP director of operations. “With the financial hardships caused by the pandemic, this program will be even more needed this year than it has been in years past.”

Last year 195 people were served by the program and DVP expects to serve more than 200 this year.

“The need will be greater this year and our goal is to collect $20,000 in donated toys and cash to make sure we are able to provide for these families in need,” Roberts said.

The community can donate new toys or make a financial donation and DVP will do the shopping. One-hundred percent of the money donated goes toward this project.

“Our agency is familiar with these families and their needs. Many of DVP’s clients don’t have the necessary documents to receive assistance from other programs that provide Christmas gifts for children or they are scared to ask for help in such a public way,” said Pam Dennington, DVP executive director.

The opportunity to shop in the Santa Store will be available to families who’ve stayed at the DVP shelter or whose parent has received outreach services in the past year. The Santa Store will be in a secure location in the weeks before Christmas.

Financial donations or donations of new toys can be dropped off at DVP’s office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at 424 Spruce St., Texarkana, Texas 75501 or mailed to the same address. All donations should be in by Dec. 14.

Needed items include bicycles, skateboards, craft sets, art supplies, fishing poles and tackle, portable chargers, hair scrunchies, lava lamps, cologne or body wash sets, LOL dolls, My Little Pony toys, headphones, Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, wallets, etc.

Call DVP at 903-794-4000 for more information. Anyone who needs help escaping a violent situation can call the 24-hour crisis line at 903-793-HELP (4357).