Real life Elf on the Shelf raises money for those in need

An Indiana mom found a creative and festive way to pay it forward this holiday season, with the help of her baby.

18-month-old Forest Schott isn’t just any of Santa’s helpers, he’s the ever-helpful, and slightly mischievous, Elf on the Shelf.

Megan Schott, Forest’s mom, started dressing him up when he was 6 months old. This year, she decided to add a little twist.

“So I’m like, hmm, what if we turned him into the Elf on the Shelf?”

The bigger twist, though, was using Forest’s new persona as a way to help get more presents under the tree for families in need.

“We would only post pictures each night if our Facebook friends and family would donate money,” said Schott. “To help him purchase toys for Salvation Army and the Fireman’s Cheer Fund.”

Turns out, holding out for the donation worked! The fund quickly earned $2,000.00.

“Starting at a young age, it’s never too young to get involved in your community,” said Mike Wilson, the local fire captain.

Half of it goes to the local Fireman’s Cheer Fund, they collect toys and gifts to package and send out to about 1,200 kids.

“I want to raise him to help others,” said Schott. “It doesn’t take a lot to do that.”