MERCER, Pa. (WKBN) — A Mercer County domestic and sexual violence agency is looking for “elves” to spread holiday cheer.

The agency AWARE, Inc. needs volunteers to sponsor families to buy holiday gifts. As of today, it is sponsoring 99 families. That number can change as cases come in last minute before Christmas.

AWARE says it’s great seeing people come together to help bring joy to others.

Amanda Banic, AWARE volunteer and training coordinator, explained the impact that this program has on families.

“A lot of parents, I’ve learned, are using this as teaching experiences,” Banic said. “They will take their children out and say, ‘We’re going to shop this Christmas list for somebody that’s your age that is going through a rough time.’ And to me, that’s amazing.”

You can still help without sponsoring a family by donating items. Just bring those items to the agency or buy them through their Amazon wish list.

Some desired items include:

  • Gift cards of all varieties, such as for gas stations, grocery stores, big box stores and local fast food or treat stores
  • Bath and body products for men and women
  • Activity books, such as crossword, coloring or puzzle books
  • Comfort items, such as candles and blankets
  • Coffee and coffee mugs
  • Various arts and crafts supplies

Items will be accepted through Dec. 19.

For more information, contact Banic at