Downtown Milford, Inc. (DMI) partners with First State Manufacturing on Santa House project

Santa and his helpers are preparing for the opening of the Santa House on Saturday, Nov. 24, in Downtown Milford, sponsored by Downtown Milford, Inc. (DMI)

This year, however, Santa received new helping hands from Milford’s own First State Manufacturing (FSM). FSM Production Manager, Edie Santoro, and a crew of 18 FSM employees, who volunteered their time and expertise, cut and sewed 1,000 red stockings that will be filled with holiday candy by volunteers at the Milford Senior Center in November.

These special stockings, which previously took countless hours by local volunteers who handcrafted and sewed each one, are a treasured Santa House tradition that serves children from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and beyond.

“The Santa House is truly a community collaboration and First State Manufacturing’s involvement continues that philosophy,” said DMI Board President, Sara Pletcher.  “Senior center volunteers stuff the stockings and more than 80 volunteer elves to man the house during Santa’s hours, so partnering with another local business fits our mission, gets new volunteers involved, and brings together our whole community.  It just makes sense.”

FSM’s co-owners, Eli and Sher Valenzuela, were eager to help DMI with this project and gladly offered to donate the material, machinery/technology, and labor to make the 1,000 stockings.

“When Sher and I started the business, we agreed to give back to the community wherever we could.  This was the perfect opportunity, not unlike our prison ministry that we offer inmates to help them learn a sewing skill that could potentially land them a job at FSM after prison. The teams volunteered for 30 minutes before and after their shifts to complete the project.  So far they have accrued 45 hours of volunteer service to DMI.  Ms. Santoro said that “the volunteers live in the Milford community and were very excited and proud to be able to give back,” he said.

“This is the perfect example of collaboration between DMI and a Milford business,” said Nina Pletcher, DMI Promotion Committee chair.  “It was heartwarming to see the pride the First State Manufacturing employees took in having such a pivotal role in the Santa House project.  They fed off of each other with their enthusiasm while they worked, and clearly delivered on the owners’ culture of volunteerism.  It made my heart happy.”

The Santa House opens for the season on Shop Small Saturday, Nov. 24 at 11:00am.  Santa will arrive at his house on Walnut St. on a fire truck from the Carlisle Fire Department.  He will be in his house every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23 to hear children’s wishes.  Friday hours are 5-8pm and Saturday and Sunday hours are 11am-3pm.

As always, all children age 12 and under who visit will receive a free picture with Santa, a candy cane, a stocking filled with candy and a chance to win a weekly drawing for a Downtown Milford gift certificate.

To sign up to volunteer for an elf shift visit this link: http://signup.com/go/vVhdkgx

Downtown Milford, Incorporated, is a dynamic multi-faceted economic development organization that serves as positive force in the community at large. We work with business and property owners to beautify, revitalize, protect, preserve, and promote our historic riverside district. DMI operates as 501c3 nonprofit organization and is accredited through the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Downtown Delaware Program.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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