Windber hold annual Christmas event for kids

December 19, 2018

In the past 19 years, since the beginning of the annual Christmas for Kids event in Windber, volunteers have given out nearly 17,000 gifts to kids in need.

The event, which is held by the Windber Borough Police Department, gives toys and gift cards to families in need, and also includes hours of games, food and activities.

Borough Secretary Robin Gates said there were 125 families at Tuesday’s event at the Windber Community Building.

She said the event wouldn’t be possible without the many volunteers and $15,000 in donations received each year.

Event organizer Carol Berkey said that some children wouldn’t have Christmas presents or nice meals if it weren’t for the event.

“There are kids we helped when we first started that are adults now and they’ve come back to help us,” she said.

“I mean, look at these kids,” she said as kids walked by with toys clutched to their chests. Others sat around a woman reading a story and some wrote wish lists to Santa.

“This is why we do it.”

Hundreds of kids benefit from the event each year. Some are given clothes or bicycles, and all receive pizza and popcorn.

There are also free games, such as tossing bean bags through tires and dunking policemen in a dunk tank.

Police Chief Andy Frear said that the police department is always accepting donations of wrapped toys or financial gifts.

“That’s what keeps it going,” he said.

Donors can contact the police department at 814-467-8383.

Update hourly