Read more about the Santee Santas
Hundreds of volunteers working with Santee Santas spent Thursday delivering food and toys to 211 local families in need.
For 59 years, Santee Santas, a nonprofit organization, has provided food and toys to local families. Volunteers drop off a holiday meal, about two weeks of nonperishable food items, wrapped gifts for children or gift cards for teenagers, stocking stuffers, two books for every child and a board game for families that have applied to the program.
The food and toys were donated throughout the year at bins in local businesses and events such as Holiday Lighting and Taste of Santee, food drives at local schools and churches, and donated food by stores.
All last week volunteers broke the food into categories, calculated what they had, and rationed them out into boxes for each family.
At noon volunteers came to the sorting site, got a card with a family name on it, firefighters helped wheel the packages out, load them in the vehicles, and the food was delivered to the family's doorstep.
One participant in the program, Adriene, said she remembered donating food and toys to Santee Santas when she was young, and now her family's Christmas is made better by the charity of others.
Last year Doug Curlee spoke with a family that had benefited from Santee Santas for 18 years. Without this program the holidays really wouldn't be the same for these families, which go through an application process that takes place each fall.
A fundraising dinner is being planned for the 60th anniversary of the Santee Santas, stay tuned for details about that event.
See photos and read about the Santee Santas delivery in 2010 and 2011