We are late getting this story up, but there is still plenty of time to help out the annual Santa in a Shoebox gift drive for our neighbors who are less fortunate.

This is seventh year that Diana Anderson Higgenbottom is organizing an event that grew from a small operation in her basement to a community-wide celebration of kindness. She was listening to the radio in 2009 when she heard about Santa in a Shoebox in another community and thought it would work well here.

The program is a simple concept: provide needed items like socks, razors, soap, shampoo and other toiletries along with small gifts like candy, hair ties for women and girls or cologne for men and teens; package them in a shoebox and then wrap the box and deliver it to a person in the appropriate age group. Higgenbottom recruited family and friends to help her with her project, and in 2011, they delivered around 200 boxes.

In 2014, that number swelled to almost 800 boxes, and this year the goal is to reach even higher.

Recipients are recommended to Higgenbottom by schools, shelters, and organizations from all over Racine County. Boxes can include:

  • Toiletry items
  • Gift cards
  • Travel size soaps and toothpastes (little girls and little boys really like them!)
  • Body sprays for teen boys
  • Nail polish for teen girls
  • Razors, brushes, combs, toothbrushes for adults
  • Small books, sewing kits, and word search books for older adults

Please be sure to mark any boxes already filled and wrapped with the appropriate age and gender of the person who should receive it.

Boxes to be filled and those already wrapped and marked can be dropped off at Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly ,5201 Washington Ave., Racine Harley Davidson,1155 Oakes Road, Pick ‘n Save, 2820 S. Green Bay Rd., and Javier’s Cuisine, 2011 Lathrop Ave, until December 16.

**Editor’s Note: This article contains the opinions of its author.