A real-life “Elf on the Shelf” is helping secure toys for children from families in need at Christmas.

Eighteen-month-old Forest Schott, decked out in the red-and-white elf suit, is being featured in a daily photo on a gofundme fundraising page and other social media.

He is part of an effort to raise $500, to be matched by a local company, to provide $1,000 worth of donated toys divided between the Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund and the Salvation Army.

It all started last year, when the Schott family decided to entertain their friends and family with Forest in various funny Christmas scenarios posted on Facebook — among them, using a permanent marker to write “Forest Rules” on his father’s forehead and collapsing nose-first asleep into a pile of presents.

His mother, Megan (Hembree) Schott, a Cummins employee, said her personal favorite from last year was Forest holding a play chain saw, cutting down a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

“He looked like he just got busted, and we worded it that Mommy was upset, but Daddy was proud,” she said.

That’s because Forest’s father, Devin Schott, works for a Martinsville logging company.

Forest has been shown wrapped in toilet paper and playing every parent’s nightmare, the drums.

Innovative Contracting, 3700 W. County Road 700N, Taylorsville, is matching the first $500 that is donated to the effort this year.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.