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Helping Santa helps 400 kids

Hundreds of children in the area were able to have a memorable Christmas this past Tuesday thanks to a community effort through the city of Russellville’s Helping Santa program.
Program coordinator Randy Seal said over 400 children from the city of Russellville and parts of Franklin County were able to receive gifts this year because of the donations community members made in the past several weeks.
“We had donations of toys and monetary donations that came in that allowed us to give these children something to wake up to on Christmas morning,” Seal said.
“The parents or guardians who came in to pick up the toys last week were very grateful. Some of them had tears in their eyes as they were leaving with their bags, and one lady stopped me in the grocery store just to thank me for what we were doing.”
Seal said that spirit of gratitude and knowing that they’ve really been able to help someone is what makes him continue to coordinate the program year after year.
“To me, it’s all about the kids and making sure we do what we can to make this a special time for them just like it is for any other child,” Seal said. “Knowing how happy they are makes it all worthwhile.”
Seal said he wanted to thank all the businesses, civic organizations and individuals who made donations of toys or money to this year’s Helping Santa program.
“We just organize this effort and make sure we get enough stuff to distribute and make sure it gets to the people who need it,” Seal said. “Without the community’s support and those donations, we wouldn’t be able to do anything for anyone, so we appreciate everyone who had a hand in make the Helping Santa program a success this year.”