The and their volunteer army, including personnel and , were out in full force midday Monday to deliver toys and food to families in need around Santee.
It was hard to miss one of the placed around town the last couple months that were just begging to be filled with food and toys. Between these bins, food drives at local schools and churches, donated food by stores, and other means, 200 families will be eating better this holiday season. The number of recipient families has risen from 176 since last year.
For 57 years the Santee Santas Foundation has been helping low income seniors and families have a brighter holiday and entire year.
This year, each family will get a turkey, five pounds of potatoes and five pounds of oranges, one pound of butter, one gallon of milk, and other donated canned goods, not to mention the toys and other gifts that are included.
The first step after collecting the goods, is sorting them. All last week volunteers broke the food into categories, calculated what they had, and rationed them out into boxes for each family.
Monday 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.
With about 200 volunteers helping out, the deliveries only take about three hours, even in the rain.
The Santee Santas and also hosted a special holiday dinner last weekend for a random pick of families on the recipient list. City Councilmembers , , , and School Board member were even on hand helping to serve turkey and ham.
"If we can find five restaurants to participate next year, together, we could cover the entire list," said Michael of Michael's Grill.
Near the end of the deliveries, , Seceretary of the Board of the Santee Santas Foundation, was commenting on how great it is that the whole community comes out to help the Santee Santas
With a little help from , , , , Einstein's Bagels, , , , and other local eateries, the Santee Santas were even able to feed the volunteers that came out to help this holiday season.
The Santee Santas don't stop their work when the holidays are over. They provide emergency assistance to needy families throughout the year. For more information, contact 619-258-5947 or visit santeesantas.org.