Hillyard Santa Needs Your Help! - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hillyard Santa Needs Your Help!

SPOKANE, Wash. - For the ninth consecutive year Clyde Decker will pass out toys for kids in NE Spokane thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors and volunteers and the unflagging all-year efforts of the 73-year-old known as "Hillyard's Santa." 

Santa and his elf volunteers will begin passing out toys to parents of neighborhood kids in NE Spokane's lower-income neighborhoods on Thursday, December 15th, at the Hillyard Bank of America branch on North Market Street.

Branch Manager Shelley Thielen reported, "Last year's drive brought in enough toys and cash to gather 1,477 toys in our Hillyard Bank lobby. These toys went to kids in 615 area families."  This year, everyone knows the need is greater still, and sadly there aren't enough toys right now to meet 2011's anticipated need. 

But volunteers are preparing what toys there are in readiness for distributions on December 15th, 16th and 19th through the 23d, supplies of gifts permitting. Decker says, "There are lots of good toys this year too, but many will be smaller than in the past. We'll do the best we can, but don't forget they're supposed to be happy surprises for the kids!" 

Parents shouldn't bring their children to the Bank's lobby distribution point, but must remember to bring some documentation to prove the existence of a child, like a medical card or similar.

"We have to be sure we're giving the toys to someone who'll get them to the kids, after all," says Hillyard Santa.

As always, Santa seeks help for the kids year-round. Clyde says, "Thank You, Safeway!" for this year's 19-day visit at Hillyard's Safeway Store, gathering $1047 from Hillyard customers and  passers-by. But misfortune struck during this past summer, as illness kept Decker from three of his most important fund-raising events. 

As a result, to meet the 2011 need, Hillyard's Santa still needs to find donations of both funds and toys. As this jolly old elf says, "Hillyard's Santa can make the money go a lot further than most parents can!" 

Donations of both toys (new, unused, please) and cash will be accepted anytime at Market Street's Outlaw Café, Bank of America Hillyard, or call Clyde Decker at 220-2885, and he--or another elf volunteer--will pick them up.

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