The 20th annual elf sale initiative of SÁÁ – the National Center of Addiction Medicine, to raise funds for its work, kicked off yesterday when Minister of Social Affairs Árni Páll Árnason purchased the first elf at the opening ceremony.
From SÁÁ’s treatment center. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The elf, a fluffy lucky charm, costs ISK 1,000 (USD 7.83, EUR 5.74) as in previous years, and the elf sale is SÁÁ’s primary source of fund raising.
An SÁÁ press release explained that the elf sale is more important than ever now that individual and official donations to the association’s operations have decreased considerably.
All profits from the sale will be used to strengthen treatment resources for young alcoholics and drug addicts. Since 2000, SÁÁ has operated a special treatment ward for young people.
Approximately 2,000 individuals seek assistance from SÁÁ every year and in recent years the number of young people seeking treatment has increased considerably.
Every year around 500 individuals under the age of 24 are admitted to the association’s hospital at Vogur and almost 300 individuals out of that group are teenagers.
In addition to the traditional elf, virtual elves can also be bought this year on the social networking site Facebook. The elf sale ends on Sunday.
Click here to read a feature on SÁÁ’s work.