CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but we're already thinking about Christmas. It's easy to do with so many charities getting into the spirit of giving.
Over the past seven years Student Santa's at Southeast Missouri State University have made the holidays a little brighter for thousands kids in our area. Volunteers say the need just continues to grow each year.
"I walked into my living room on Christmas and watched my two little boys tear into their presents," said Jennifer Icaza-Gast. "I though at this moment there's a little boy or girl that's getting nothing."
Seven years ago, Icaza-Gast came up with the idea, and the project has flourished.
"Since then we've grown, and have reached about 10,000 kids," said Icaza-Gast.
They get letters in the mail from all over the Heartland. The volunteers try to honor every wish list.
They even play Santa at two Cape Girardeau Elementary Schools, Franklin and Jefferson, where every child benefits.
"The schools are designating a day where Santa is brought in and they sit on Santa's lap and they get a bag that is filled with toys on their wish list," said Icaza-Gast.
Southeast Students like Megan Devenport love being involved.
"I started thinking about all these kids who don't get what they want because their parents can't afford to provide for them," said Student Santas President Megan Devenport. "I wanted to make a difference."
There is still time to send referrals to this group if you know someone in need.
You could help out too as they need volunteers and donations.
The McDonald's Corporation has helped over the years with grant money, and at the Broadway McDonald's in Cape Girardeau on December 5, 2012 from 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., 25% of proceeds will go to the Student Santas organization.
Letters or donations may be sent to P.O. 641 Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.