The first two years, she made the decorations available in Newton, but this year she changed the location to Hillsboro.
The average number of people who ?shop? for the free merchandise, she said, is between 25 and 30.
?I am hoping to have 50 families this year,? she said.
The event is a family affair, she said.
?I have my elves with me?my husband, Robert, my brother, Donavan Schmidt and my mom, Wilma Schmidt,? she said.
Vance said she couldn?t even begin to guess how much inventory she had collected.
?It took two pickup truckloads and we have items on 11 long tables,? she said.
For Vance and her family, the giveaway is worth the time it takes to pack, unpack and store the items.
?Last year,? she said, ?I had people come up to me and say, ?Look what I found? or ?Look what I got.??
Vance said she would tell them to make a pile and keep shopping for as many free items as they wanted.
For people associated with CDDO but unable to make it to Friday?s giveaway, Vance said she would be willing to make items available to them.
?Last year some people wanted Christmas trees, but they were all gone by the time the event was over,? she said. ?I got in contact with some people who had trees and it worked out.?
Vance said she doesn?t work outside the home, but does work closely with CDDO on this project.
Even though this year?s event is over, she said she needs help for next year.
?One thing I would like to stress to businesses or residents is that if after Christmas this year they have decorations they no longer want, please call me or CDDO,? she said.
?I will take the items and keep them until next year.?
Any decorations or other items associated with Chris?tmas are needed, Vance said.
The project has only been under way for three years, but Vance said she started collecting items two years earlier.
?People with special needs are closest to my heart and it?s why I want to do this,? she said.
For more information or to contribute Christmas decorations, call Vance at 316-461-6781 or CDDO at 316-283-7997.