Local santa set to visit roatan children
Santa’s sleigh will be making a stop at Roatan, Honduras this year thanks to two local couples.
Cindy and Bob Thomas, with Christine and Gary Storrs are off on their third trip to Roatan and are looking forward to watching the joy on children’s faces when they see Santa come walking down the beach.
Cindy Thomas explained that when they go into the west end of Roatan, they are heading off the beaten path into little towns. This is out of the tourist area and is where the children are. These are places you just wouldn’t go or be welcomed but with Santa at Christmas you can go anywhere.
Chris Storrs said, “A block away this little girl turned and saw Santa. She just ran and threw herself into his arms.”
“Santa carries his little bag with gifts and goodies everywhere he goes so when we see local kids on the street, kids on the beach, kids in the airport, Santa can give them a gift.” Cindy said. “These are kids who have never seen Santa”.
Gary Storrs, or better known in Roatan as Santa, explained, “During our last trip we went to the tiny island of Cayos Cachinos. It has over 100 people living on this 0.8 square mile island. They have no power, no running water no facilities. It was the kid’s first time seeing Santa. They had never had Christmas gifts before and we could bring them that. This was their Christmas.”
Cindy said. “People ask us why we would go all the way over there to help kids when Santa, Mrs. Clause and the elves, better known as locals Cindy and Bob Thomas, back, and Christine and Gary Storrs are headed to Roatan to bring an unforgettable Christmas to the children there. there are struggling families right here in Canada. We see lots of local programs to help families here but who helps those kids? They are so grateful. These are kids who have never seen Santa or never got anything for Christmas before. Then they get just this simple knitted toy, well this is their Christmas. This one toy is literally their Christmas.”
Due to the present economy and the skyrocketing expenses, this year’s trip just about didn’t become a reality. Cindy explained she was approached by a lady from Pioneer Trail Centre asking about the trip.
“They had just assumed we were going but we just didn’t think it was doable this year. When the lady from the Lodge said they had been knitting dolls and balls to send all year I figured we had to make it happen.” Cindy said.
Because of the cost to car- ry all the donations onto the plane, the Thomas’ and Storrs’ are looking to send packages ahead of time.
“So far we have been given donations of knitted dolls and balls, school supplies and hygiene supplies. It’s tough because we want to take it all but after figuring out that each box will cost close to $100 it’s going to be too expensive.” Cindy said.
As Cindy has laid out on the Drumheller Discussion board on Facebook, each box will cost $72.39 to ship from Drumheller to where it needs to go in Florida. Once in Florida, the boxes will be sent by boat to Roatan. This will cost an additional $27 US dollars.
“Our goal is to send 100 boxes ahead of time so when Santa arrives he can keep refilling his bag and give out gifts to every child we see. We usually buy candy canes from the local store there to help support a Roatan family but we do need to get the toys and other donations there.” Cindy explained.
The Thomas’ and Storrs’ would like to share their vision of blessing children who have never experienced the giving Christmas spirit. They are in need of funds for postage for the items they have had donated and are looking to the local community.
Cindy said, “We are being very open and will be each step of the way. The community will know exactly how much money will be given and the cost of each expense. We are not asking for funds to send us but only the boxes we need to get there. 10 boxes at around $100 is $1,000 and we just can’t do it on our own.”
If you would like to help with the cost of shipping, please contact Cindy Thomas through Western GM dealership in Drumheller.
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