Loris, SC (WPDE) — Santa is getting the Jefferson Award!
If you have driven through Loris, you have probably spotted him on Main Street.
"Santa's greatest helper is Johnny Lee," said Victoria Morgan with the Loris Merchants Association. "He cares from his heart."
A giant heart at that.
"I'm 6'6," said Loris Santa.
"He is a genuinely kind, gentle giant," said Morgan.
Six years ago, the Loris Santa asked to use the Loris Merchant Association's Santa House as a place to collect toys for Toys for Tots.
He has collected hundreds over the years.
"We need all the help we can get. Because last year there were about 12,000 kids. This year there are a whole lot more because of all the flooding," said Loris Santa.
Several families in Loris are still in a motel following Hurricane Florence.
"He went there and visited with those children. He got their wish list to make sure that every one is taken care of," said Morgan.
It is a mission close to his heart.
"It means the world to me because it means I know I'm doing what God wants me to do. Help others. The Bible says 'Help others,'" said Santa.
"He has the most kind eyes. Children flock to him," said Morgan.
Victoria Morgan, with the Merchants Association, says Santa is always busy.
Besides his weekend Santa House visits, he goes to schools, and makes a little advertising money on the side.
"He turns around and uses that money to buy clothes, toys, shoes, coats. Whatever people may need," said Morgan.
He truly embodies the Christmas Spirit.
As for Santa's Christmas wish...
"That's all we need to do is love each other. Show love for each other. And work together," said Loris Santa.
"The Loris Santa Claus lives Christmas every day of the year," said Morgan.
That is why the Loris Santa is our latest Jefferson Award winner.
"Congratulations my friend," said Morgan.
"Thank you," said Loris Santa.