By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD – One of the post's most well-known nonprofit organizations hosted a grand opening on Thursday evening.

For more than 10 years, Santa's Workshop has provided presents for Fort Hood children who might not have received anything during the holiday season. Last year, it provided more than 3,300 children with toys.

Santa's Workshop started as an event within the 13th Sustainment Command and grew to a post-wide program in 1998. It is run by a group of volunteers and depends on donations of money and toys from area residents, businesses and organizations.

The workshop is located by the commissary on Clear Creek Road. Parents can visit the workshop and pick out two presents for each child, a book and a board game for the family.

Santa's Workshop typically has 6,400 toys, 3,200 books and 3,200 games a year, according to information from the organization's Web site. Several local organizations had representatives at the grand opening, who donated more than $8,500 that night.

During the grand opening on Thursday, guests, including soldier volunteers and Fort Hood officials, took a tour of the facility and saw shelves packed with toys organized by age group.

Parents apply for Santa's Workshop through their units' command financial officers. Families have been chosen for this year, but the organization is still accepting applications because emergency situations always come up, said Kim Diano, Santa's Workshop president.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or call (254) 501-7547

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