Evart Elementary students Christmas shop for family, friends

EVART — Evart Elementary students had Christmas shopping on their mind Friday morning.

With money sent from home, the students searched for gifts for their parents and siblings the school's annual Santa's workshop, organized by the Parents For Kids organization along with local crafters.

"We have been doing this forever," said Kim Anderson, who chaired the committee to organize the shopping event. "Local crafters come in and have things they made for sale between $1 and $5 for the kiddos to shop for their mom and dad, grandma and grandpa and brother and sister.

"It's really awesome."

Anderson and a corps of volunteers from the Parents For Kids group at the school helped the students wrap presents they just purchased.

"Kids are having a fun time and they really like it," she said. "We actually thought about doing something different, but the kids love it so much, we couldn't."

Anderson said the crafters come from around the community and as far away as Cadillac.

"They're always eager to be here," she said. "If we're not quick enough to call them, they'll call us and ask when we're holding the workshop."

When they had finished shopping for their family members, Noah McKinney and Carter Drouse began looking around the dozen or so crafters' tables for something that caught their eyes.

"He's buying something for me," McKinney announced at one of the tables, before the pair moved on to another table, asking specifics about how items were made or where they came from.

Each student had a list of family members to buy for, as well as finding treats and toys for their cats and dogs.

"It's really neat to see what the kids get their family members," Anderson said. "The parents help pull this off. It's a lot of fun for everyone.

"I'm thankful for there not being a snow day. I had looked at the forecast and wondered if it would be OK. It turned out fine."