The New Canaan YMCA invites families from the community to kick off the holiday season with its annual Visit with Santa and Create Holiday Crafts family fun day Sunday, Dec. 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to all in the community.

Santa will be on hand to meet the children and parents are welcome to bring their cameras to capture this special moment. Children and their parents, grandparents, friends, and relatives will also be able to create holiday-themed arts and crafts to share with a loved one this holiday season. The New Canaan YMCA is once again a Toys for Tots collection spot this year and visitors to the event may bring a new, unwrapped toy to share with a child in need.

"The Y is proud to host this event which fosters family and community togetherness during the holiday season," Y Program Director Davie Cedela said. "In addition to meeting with Santa and creating crafts, families will also have the opportunity to engage in the giving spirit of the holidays through a donation to Toys For Tots, which will be available at the Y in December."

Founded in 1954 by a group of community volunteers, the New Canaan YMCA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enrich all people in spirit, mind, and body. As an inclusive community service organization, the YMCA turns away no one for reasons of race, religion, or economic background and last year awarded more than $270,000 in membership and program scholarships. Serving the communities of New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, and Darien, the YMCA also strives to partner with a variety of outside organizations to further its role as a community service provider.