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South Bend woman working to help single fathers during holiday season

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A South Bend woman is collecting gift cards and toys this holiday season to help a group of people who she says does not always receive assistance this time of year. 

Clara Ross, also known as Sparkle the Christmas Elf, hopes to make Christmas a bit more joyful for single fathers raising their kids. 

“Single fathers are not really supported or sponsored,” said Ross. 

Her idea started a few weeks ago. Ross then posted on Facebook and asked people to nominate hard working dads in South Bend instilling good values in their children. 

Ross says the response quickly became overwhelming. She received more than 25 nominations, but, she says with her current collection of gifts she will only be able to help 10 fathers. 

“I’m elated,” said Ross. “I can’t wait to see the outcome of this. I can’t wait to see the faces of the fathers. I can’t wait to see the faces of the children. It’s just an exciting time.” 

Ross plans to deliver a $25 gift card, a gas card, and toys to each family on December 23. Community members who would like to donate a VISA gift card or toys for kids aged 0 to 17 can email Ross at cross5560@yahoo.com. 

“Single fathers, they may not know all the resources that are available to them and so I just wanted to bring some Christmas cheer to them and assistance their way so they can have a happy Christmas for their children,” said Ross. 

Ross is also looking for volunteers to wrap and deliver the gifts. She hopes to turn this into a yearly event. 

“I wanted the community to see that there’s people doing things outside of the norm and so no one is supporting single fathers, so I just wanted to uplift them and let the community know that single fathers do exist and they need to be supported as well,” said Ross. 

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