Project Christmas Presents

What is Project Christmas Presents?

For the past 10 years (even in the midst of the pandemic), REAL Life Community Services offered Christmas presents to children in need in the Cocalico School District through Project Christmas Presents. After the pandemic, REAL Life began to partner with the Neighborhood Santa program to expand the number of children served within the Cocalico School District.

Who qualifies?

Project Christmas Presents is open to all REAL Life Community Services clients with children from birth through high school age. Parents list their child’s information, and RLCS works with area churches and local businesses to have presents for them. Families that have never received gifts for Christmas from REAL Life Community Services are invited to participate in the Neighborhood Santa Program. Those whom we have assisted in the past will pick up their gifts in our offices the week before Christmas.

Before 2020, we were able to host about 15 families, or 30 +/- children.  In 2020, RLCL was able to assist 35 families and 98 children with gifts.  2021 brought us to 103 children and in 2022, we distributed gifts to 134 children.  In 2023, we had 60 children in the Neighborhood Santa Program and another 120 children received gifts through Project Christmas Presents.  We are hoping to expand that so that no child in the Cocalico School District goes without Christmas gifts due to financial difficulties in the family.

During this program we have several churches that work with us, hosting Angel Trees in their buildings, from November 1- December 3 to see that the children’s gifts are purchased, but we can always use more. We are hoping to get local businesses to have stocking stuffer drop boxes in their offices for employees and/or customers to donate the extras that make the Neighborhood Santa such a blessing: stuffed animals, blankets, mittens, coloring books, etc.

There are always incidentals, such as wrapping paper, bows, gift baskets for the parents, or last-minute items for emergency gifts. So, cash donations are also very important to make this program run.  We have a gift registry at for those who want to order gifts. Those gifts will be delivered directly to us.  Click here to access that list.


If you feel that you might be able to assist in any of these areas, we would love to have you join this project. Feel free to contact Beny Iordanescu, 717-336-7797 or email to get plugged in to this very important project.