With Christmas day fast approaching, it’s not fast enough for many children excitedly waiting to unwrap presents on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, many more families struggle to make ends meet and sadly, many children who won’t receive gifts as a result. However, many communities have their own ‘secret Santa’s’, some working throughout the year to create gifts to spread cheer for families in need. More info: abc11.com
Jim Annis, an 80-year-old veteran happens to be a kind hearted Santa, with his own workshop where he creates toys throughout the year, without an elf in sight to help! For the past 50 years Annis has made toys for children from struggling families.
“When the Salvation Army gives out food and clothes to people in this area, I give out my toys,” said Annis.
Each year, he crafts and donates about 300 wooden toys to the Salvation Army of Sanford who delivers them were they need to be. Neighbors donate wood off cuts and scraps and for any other materials he needs, he pays for himself.
His out of pocket expenses easily gets as high as $1000 per year but for Annis, it’s about making children feel special and cared for. Annis has personal experience and remembers the feeling of not getting Christmas gifts very well.
“My dad he worked, but didn’t make a lot of money. It’s hard to have a big Christmas with five kids,” he said.
Fire trucks, dolls, cars and even piggy banks are just a few of the toys he makes and he plans to continue for as long as he is able to.
“I love when people ask me how much do I get paid for making these toys. I tell them my pay is when I see the smile on kids’ faces,” he said. “I hope to be able to do this until my toes curl up.”
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