Santafest, Children of Shelters
By Julie Watts

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — There are approximately 4,000 homeless children in San Francisco and, understandably, the holiday season can be a very difficult time for them. So, school-age kids from across the region are coming together to help local homeless children in need.

Saturday morning dozens of kids gathered to play the part of Santa’s elves. They picked out and wrapped gifts for homeless children in San Francisco.

Santafest is an annual fundraiser for Children of Shelters, a non-profit working to break the cycle of homelessness for kids in the city by providing enrichment and educational opportunities.

In the morning, kids with means experienced the gift of giving and enjoyed a variety of fun holiday activities like decorating gingerbread houses, miniature Christmas trees and gift bags for the presents they selected for the children in need. Proceeds from the ticket sales for the morning event go to support the charity.

But the true magic came later in the day when hundreds of homeless children and their families were invited to enjoy all of the same activities along with an elaborate holiday meal, a photo with Santa and, of course, they received a gift personally wrapped and decorated by a child earlier that morning.

Homeless children can be 4 times as likely to suffer from developmental and educational delays according to the National Coalition for the homeless. In it’s mission statement, Children of Shelters says its goal is to support academic achievement and character development for those children.


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