COLUMBUS, Ind.-- The mischievous ways of a real life elf on the shelf are helping spread a little more holiday cheer.
When the Schott's realized their then 6- month old son, Forest, was too young to grasp the concept of an 'Elf on the Shelf' they decided to turn him into the elf. They took photos of him in an elf costume asleep in a pile of presents, with a box of dog treats and with a play chainsaw.
Now 18-months old, the Schott's decided to take the photos again this year, but with a twist.
"We would only post pictures each night if our Facebook friends and family would donate money to help him purchase toys for Salvation Army and the Firemen's Cheer Fund," Megan Schott said.
The fund quickly met their goal of $500 and a match from a local Columbus company. They're now aiming to raise $2,000.
"It's never too young to get involved in your community and do good things in your community," Columbus Fire Captain Mike Wilson said.
Friday, Megan and Forest dropped off the toys they had bought with the funds to the Columbus Firemen's Cheer Fund. The group collects toys and gifts to package and send out to about 1,200 kids.
"It's rewarding to see the faces of the kids and the families when you deliver their boxes because everything we do is community involved," Columbus firefighter and Cheer Fund board member Ben Noblitt said.
The faces of the firefighters lit up seeing Forest bring in his donations and pose for more photos.
"I learned the trick was to get him to cooperate was to get him in his outfit when daddy's coming home and have daddy call me as he's down the road because when daddy walks in the door Forest is like 'dada' and super excited and that's how I get the pictures of him smiling," Schott said.
But beyond the fun antics, there's a lesson Schott hopes her son and others take with them.
"I want to raise him to help others," she said. "And I hope that they see you know it doesn't take a lot to do that. It's just a simple $5 onesie and a dollar piece of felt and just posting on Facebook and just trying to raise money for a good cause."