SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Some Savannah residents got an extra visit from Santa Claus on Christmas this year.
Mysterious Santa, a local nonprofit, has volunteers accompany Santa Claus to local hospitals on Christmas day. Volunteer coordinator Edward Derst has spent the last 20 years volunteering with Mysterious Santa.
“Everyone can make a difference. And it only takes a little bit of time to make someone smile on Christmas.”
This is the 117th year for the program, but it’s still relatively unknown.
“An over 100 year tradition and it’s amazing that just this year is the first time I’m ever hearing about it,” said one first time volunteer.
“It’s a way to get together as a family and give back,” Derst said.
The organization visits people who might not have anyone else. They give them fruit and teddy bears. This year, over 3,000 stuffed animals will be delivered. Richard Eason says it’s his chance to give back.
“So I come to give to others that are less fortunate. That can’t be home. That are stuck in nursing homes, which, Like Sam said, Might be the only visit they get that day.”
The volunteers believe Christmas is not about gifts.
“I’m not going to remember the presents i get on Christmas. I’m not going to remember a lot but i can remember making these people happy.”
But about coming together for people.
“If others didn’t take time for me... I wouldn’t be where I am at today,” Eason agrees. “It just makes me happy... to see the joy.”
The volunteers just want to make sure everyone has a Merry Christmas.