Lo­cal santa set to visit roatan chil­dren

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Krystin McHugh The Drumheller Mail

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.

802 Bankview drive sW, drumheller, al­berta

one and two bed­rooms avail­able. rents will start at $775/month plus util­i­ties. Heat, hot water and elec­tric­ity for park­ing lot spa­ces in­cluded. on-site laun­dry and man­age­ment.

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