Charity Spotlight: Elf Louise Christmas Project

The Elf Louise Christmas Project began in 1969 when founder Louise Locker, a student at Trinity University, and her friends, collected toys for the children of 13 needy San Antonio families.

Almost 50 years later, the project is still going strong. Now a community-based, 100% volunteer organization, Elf Louise provides over 60,000 gifts to families each year. Thousands of volunteers gather to select and wrap gifts, dress as Santa and his elves, and deliver Christmas gifts to children who might otherwise go without.

Elf Louise is completely staffed by volunteers and completely funded by donations. 98 cents of every dollar goes directly to the purchase and delivery of toys. There is no paid staff. Volunteers staff every position, from data entry to gift wrapping, washing Santa suits, stocking toys in the warehouse, and finally breaking down the workshop and storing toys and supplies for the next season. While the bulk of the work takes place in November and December, core volunteers work almost year-round to make every Christmas special.

On a personal note, Elf Louise was one of my first volunteer experiences as a child. My Girl Scout troop went every year and I loved the fact that the present I was wrapping would go right into the hands of another kid. Choosing the presents was always my favorite part. Elf Louise is “based on hope and faith and a belief in the goodness of people.” This echoes Nerd Night’s mission and philosophy. Coming together as a group to make life a little brighter for San Antonio’s less fortunate reaffirms the holiday spirit in a way that crosses religious and cultural barriers. I hope you’ll join us at a November Nerd Night so we can support this unique San Antonio organization!

Charity Spotlight: Elf Louise Christmas Project2016-11-25T10:59:31-06:00

November Nerd Night is in the books.

November Nerd Night Wrap-Up

What a great night! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see us at Magic Beans and especially to you lovely people who donated toys. We collected two large boxes of new, unwrapped toys for the Elf Louise Christmas Project!. It was a great learning experience for me, and even though we didn’t get to do all the things I would have liked, the things that were done were enjoyed and everyone had great feedback for me on what they’d like to see at future events.

Our Ticket to Ride winner was Kelly, and she was super excited to get her Alvin & Dexter expansion. I have custody of the little monsters, as she doesn’t own a copy of the game just yet… I might have to see what can be done about that 😉 and Shane and Paulina won the raffle, with their own copy of Settlers of Catan!

Watch the site over the next couple of days for more information about December. Nerd Night is scheduled for December 11th (Friday) at 6:00 pm. We’ll be gaming for the San Antonio Food Bank, and the site will be hosting an online Food Drive. We’ll also be collecting non-perishable food items at Magic Beans from December 4th through December 14th!

Elf Louise Elves
Our guests from Elf Louise: Elves Betsey, Lewis and Laura.
Toys for Elf Louise
Two boxes this big!
Kelly won Ticket to Ride
Kelly with her Ticket to Ride prize.
Raffle Winners
Paulina and Shane won the raffle and got a copy of Settlers of Catan
November Nerd Night is in the books.2016-11-25T10:59:39-06:00

Nerd Night is this weekend!

It’s almost time for our first Nerd Night! I’m so excited at the interest that has been generated, not that I was surprised – I know that gamers are the most generous of folks, and when given the chance to come out for a good cause, they will. It’s hard to find a better one than Elf Louise! So grab those new, unwrapped toys and c’mon down to Magic Beans on Saturday night! We’ll be there starting at 6pm, signing up people for Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, RPG demos and more.

An Extra Life 2015 update: Some of you might have seen my Facebook post, but ICYMI: Extra Life has raised almost SEVEN MILLION dollars so far this year for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals! I was proud to be a (very small) part of Team Nix World, who surpassed its goal, raising nearly $6,000 (with more still to be counted). If you’d like to donate, there is still time. Head to this link and click on “support me.”

Lastly, a bit of housekeeping. The December event has moved to FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11th. Once I get through this weekend, we’ll be starting to promote December! Our charity will be the San Antonio Food Bank, and we’ll be collecting non-perishable food items at Magic Beans. So pick up some extra food to prepare when you go to the grocery store for the next few weeks.

That’s all for now! Hope to see each and every one of you at Magic Beans on Saturday at 6pm. Looking forward to kicking this off right.

– Stephanie

Nerd Night is this weekend!2015-11-11T14:48:40-06:00

Extra Life and Nerd Night Update

Shameless plug! I’m participating in Extra Life this year and would love to take your money 🙂 Take a look at this very worthy cause and donate to support the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. I’ll be playing board games on the night of November 7th with my friend Nathan and the rest of his team. Click the link to read more about Extra Life and the good things they support.

Nerd Night is coming up fast. I’ve solidified plans with Magic Beans and Elf Louise. We’re planning a Ticket to Ride tournament, as well as a Settlers of Catan tournament. I’m working on a some RPG demos as well, they will have staggered start times for the first couple of hours so that anyone who wants to play will have a spot. So far I’ve confirmed a Hunter game, for those of you who like White Wolf. If you’re a GM and have any interest in running a demo, drop me a line and let’s talk!


Extra Life and Nerd Night Update2015-11-11T14:48:58-06:00

Nerd Night Launches in San Antonio

Inaugural Nerd Night Set for November 14th, 2015

I’m so excited to announce that San Antonio Nerd Night is finally a reality. It’s been a long time coming. I registered the domains for San Antonio Nerd Night over a year ago, after reading about the great work done up in Dallas by DFW Nerd Night and being so inspired by the idea that gamers, and tabletop gamers especially, had a unique perspective on working together and caring about their community. The games we play, whether they be RPG, cooperative board games, competitive strategy games, humorous games, card games, dice games, social party games… they all build relationships and friendships among the people who play together. Game nights strengthen families, bridge cultural barriers, and are a truly level playing field for people of all backgrounds. Our Nerd Nights take that one step further. We intend to project the goodwill and generosity of the gaming community onto the San Antonio area at large.

The Elf Louise Christmas Project

Our first Nerd Night is set up to benefit a non-profit near and dear to my heart. As a child in Girl Scouts, my first experience volunteering was our annual night at Elf Louise. I have warm memories of taking a list of children, some just about my age, and wandering the warehouse to find the perfect toys. We wrapped our gifts with care, labeled them for the children, whose names we knew, and packed it up so Santa would deliver it right into their hands.

For almost fifty years, the all-volunteer Elves have made Christmas a little brighter for San Antonio’s less fortunate children, reaffirming the spirit of Christmas through anonymous giving. The Project is, to quote their philosophy, “based on hope and faith and a belief in the goodness of people.” I can think of no better way to lean into the holiday season than to embrace that thought, which crosses religious and cultural barriers.

Elf Louise Christmas Project

Nerd Night Launches in San Antonio2016-11-25T10:59:40-06:00
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