Sorority organizes youth-run holiday pop-up shop

The Evanston North Shore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will host Santa's Gift Shoppe on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Family Focus, 2010 Dewey Ave. in Evanston.

The annual fundraiser provides an opportunity for children to purchase low-cost, quality gifts for the holidays and take pictures with Santa.

Money raised for the event directly benefits the three youth initiative programs run by the local sorority — Delta Academy, Delta GEMS, and E.M.B.O.D.I.

Santa's Gift Shoppe was created to help participants in the sorority's three youth programs develop essential skills while organizing and operating the one day pop-up shop. The youth are responsible for pricing, packaging, displaying and selling merchandise. Through these various tasks they are able to develop planning, communication, customer service and entrepreneurial skills.

In addition to fundraising efforts, Santa's Gift Shoppe allows children in the community to join in the act of giving by purchasing inexpensive gifts for their friends and families.

Items range in price from 10 cents to $15. Shoppe offers a variety of items such as clothing, accessories, perfume, books, toys and small electronics. Rayvin Julien, committee member, Delta GEMS, said, "We have been doing this for a number of years and it just keeps getting better. Our youth get excited to the run the shop and the kids who come in to buy items love that they can pick up great gifts for their families and friends.”

Shoppers and visitors of Santa's Gift Shoppe will be able to take free pictures with Santa from noon until close and give him last minute gift requests. Parents can enjoy light music and refreshments in the waiting area while their children shop.

LaKesha Lockett, Delta Academy co-chair, said, “This is a really positive and fun event and it amazes me each year to see how our kids really step up and take the initiative to make the day asuccess. Santa’s Gift Shoppe is an easy way to support youth in the community while having a good time and getting some great bargains.”

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