LACONIA — It happens every year. The Children’s Auction never has nearly enough items to auction off when it begins its week, but organizers have always been able to count on crowds of people bringing things to put up for bid. This year, with everything being different, the hope was that they could collect everything ahead of time, which would allow the usually bustling event to occur while socially distant.

Well, they got halfway to their goal.

“People really came out and donated early this year, like they didn’t ever do before,” said Jaimie Sousa, chair of the board of the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction. She said the auction usually needs 2,200 items before it concludes, and about 1,000 items have been catalogued so far from early donation drives, and there are some late arrivals that haven’t been put into the system yet.

“Let’s say we need 1,000 more,” Sousa said.

The Children’s Auction will be held this year from Tuesday, Dec. 8 through Friday, Dec. 11, and is being broadcast from the Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford. Sousa said the concert venue’s box office will be open for winning bidders to pick up their items, and people who wish to donate an item can do so there. The window will be open every day of the auction from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Historically, the best selling items have been gift cards, power tools and electronic games. But, said Sousa, don’t think too hard about pleasing everyone.

“Anything that’s on your Christmas list is a good item for someone else,” she said, suggesting that if you’re going shopping this weekend, just buy doubles of a few things and drop the extras off at the auction.

“We need them,” she said.

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