ELKHART — After just more than a month without a building to call home, Santa’s Pantry started moving into a new facility this weekend.
Use of the 1,500-square-foot building, located at 1024 Nappanee St., has been donated to Santa’s Pantry by the Linton family, owners of Linton’s Enchanted Gardens on C.R. 17.
“My father (Jack Linton) had been in (the building) for 30 years manufacturing oboes, bassoons and other woodwinds,” said Kirk Linton. “He passed away about a year ago and we had to close down the factory.”
The Lintons had no plans for the empty building.
“We saw that Santa’s Pantry had a need and we were able to help them,” Linton said.
Debbie Micola, president of Santa’s Pantry, said the organization had been using storage space at Yoder Oil Co. on California Road with the understanding that they would have to vacate the space if Yoder Oil found another renter. On Nov. 18, she learned the pantry would have to leave by Dec. 1.
“We were very lucky,” Micola said. “Premier Storage had donated a unit to have some place to put our stuff, but it was really challenging to get stuff out of the storage unit.”
While she did have a location to store donations and supplies, Micola said it was difficult to find and remove the items she needed for the 10-day annual Winterfest in December.
“Of course the big thing you want is always way in the back,” she said with a laugh.
“It’s very hard (not having a facility) when people call and want to donate and you don’t want to tell everyone where you live to have the donations dropped off,” Micola said.
On Jan. 11, she learned Santa’s Pantry would have a new home.
“They have a little office on one end and storage on the other,” Linton said. “We’re just happy we saw it in the paper and happy to help them out.”
The group will also be receiving a donation of office furniture from Pinnacle Freight Systems to furnish the new space.
“It’s such a blessing,” Micola said.