Santa Paws Kickoff 2022

Eau Claire County Humane Association holds a kickoff event at The Brewing Projekt

Maggie OBrien

More stories from Maggie O'Brien

Across the Pond
February 28, 2024

Photo by Maggie O'Brien

Erdmann said buying a Santa Paw can seem like a very small thing, but spending $5 or $10 on a Santa Paw makes a world of difference for the animals and staff at the shelter.

The Eau Claire County Human Association began its Santa Paws fundraiser at The Brewing Projekt with a 2022 kickoff event. 

Santa Paws Kickoff 2022 took place on Nov. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. and the event was open to the public. 

At the event, attendees were able to purchase the first available Santa Paws of the year. According to the ECCHA website, the felt, paw-shaped ornaments are handcrafted year-round by the volunteer committee. Adoptable dogs and cats were also present at the event. 

The Santa Paws are available for purchase from Black Friday to Christmas Day. All of the money raised from the sales goes to the care of homeless animals at ECCHA.

Addie Erdmann, marketing and development director of ECCHA, said over 40 businesses all around the Eau Claire area are participating in the sales of Santa Paws this year. Erdmann said Santa Paws fundraiser has been going on for well over ten years.

“One person started Santa Paws and crafted the paws, cut out the pictures and made thousands of ornaments by herself every year,” Erdmann said, “And now it’s grown into a committee of six people.”

Erdmann said it’s nice to see not only the community buying the paws supporting ECCHA, but also the local businesses willing to sell the Santa Paws.

“We would not be able to do it without them,” Erdmann said. “They are the sole reason why we’re able to host this every year and why it’s been so successful every year.”

Erdmann said buying a Santa Paw can seem like a very small thing, but spending $5 or $10 on a Santa Paw makes a world of difference for the animals and staff at the shelter. 

“We can see from the last few years that we’ve gotten so much amazing support and $5 really does make a huge difference,” Erdmann said. 

Karen Rabideaux, the operations director of ECCHA, said the Santa Paws fundraiser has had a huge impact on ECCHA and aids in supporting the 18,000 animals that ECCHA cares for yearly.

“We’re just so happy that the public is still encouraged to come out to buy Santa Paws and support the shelter because of all of the great animals they see on the paws,” Rabideaux said. 

Rabideaux said she was pleased to see the diverse turnout of the public, foster families and ECCHA employees in support of the cause. 

“I want to thank The Brewing Projekt because they’ve hosted this event at least two years in a row, and to have that community support is great,” Rabideaux said. 

Tracey Newhouse, director of volunteer services of ECCHA, said getting the animals out in public for events like Santa Paws is great for adoption. 

“When the community can see the animals and pet them and have a hands-on experience, that makes it better for adoption,” Newhouse said.

To find out which local Eau Claire businesses are selling Santa Paws this year, check out the upcoming events page on the ECCHA website. Santa paws can also be purchased online and sent to buyers by visiting this website

O’Brien can be reached at [email protected].