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Spread Holiday Cheer at Santa's Workshop

Spread Holiday Cheer at Santa's Workshop

Support Homeless Families with Van Buren Shelter

Date: December 17 | Time: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Venue: Van Buren Shelter

595 Van Buren Drive
Columbus, OH 43223

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Community Shelter Board, in partnership with the YMCA, opened a shelter to address the growing numbers of men, women, and families who are experiencing homelessness. The shelter is designed to move people more quickly into stable housing and stop repeat homelessness. The Van Buren Shelter started Santa's Workshop to better meet the needs of the growing number of families and children they serve during the holiday season. This program allows parents, with the assistance of a staff member or volunteer, to select gifts for their children ranging in age from newborn to 18 years old. 
Join Besa and the Van Buren Shelter to spread holiday cheer! As a volunteer, you'll be an elf in Santa's Workshop. Duties may include helping parents select toys for each child in their family, wrapping gifts, disinfecting and sanitizing the Winter Wonderland between shoppers, and more.

Volunteers are required to bring their own face masks and must be worn at all times. Social distancing will be observed. Limited interaction will take place during this volunteer event.


The health and safety of volunteers is a priority. If you are sick, over the age of 60, or have a chronic health condition, it is in your best interest to stay home. Click here for more information about COVID-19.


  • 14 is the minimum age required and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Due to COVID, volunteers are required to submit a waiver, even if you have been to Van Buren previously. This waiver will be sent to you prior to the event.
  • A lead volunteer from Van Buren Shelter will be on-site to provide orientation and training.
  • Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required.

  • Please feel free to wear festive clothing!
  • Parking is available in the surface lot in. Volunteers may only park in spots located in front of the building in the east lot. Parking permits will be given when you arrive.
  • Personal belongings can be stored securely in the building. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • This event is ADA accessible. 
  • Court-appointed volunteering: At this time, we can not accept court-appointed requests.

Van Buren Shelter could use the following donations to support the men, women, and families during their stay. If you’d like to donate any of these items, please bring them with you when you volunteer and notify your Besa Volunteer Leader.


  • Bar Soap

  • Men's and women's deodorant

  • Shaving cream

  • Lotion

Click here for more information about the Van Buren Shelter and the amazing work they do.