Everyday Hero: Clint Klipfel - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Everyday Hero: Clint Klipfel

PORTAGEVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Santa is universally known as a jolly old man with a long, white beard and a particularly round belly. But in Portageville, Kris Kringle manifests in quite the opposite.

“In 2010, I kinda got to thinking. My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I got to the point where I realized if I couldn't come up with what I wanted for Christmas I clearly didn't need anything," said founder of Kringle's Kitchen, Clint Klipfel.

That spirit of giving lives inside Clint Klipfel.

It was his lack of need that made him realize the need of others.

And from there, Kringle's Kitchen came to life.

“So people volunteer for shifts two hours at a time. And I'll come in usually about 2 o'clock in the morning on Christmas to get things going," Clint said.

Kringle's Kitchen feeds around 400 people Christmas morning.

Clint says the effort is made possible by all the volunteers who come in to prepare food, wrap up the meals and deliver them around town.

“Christmas for most of us it's a great celebration. But for some people they don't know how they're going to get gifts for their kids or feed them. So that's a really great thing to be able to give back to the community," Clint said. "And being able to do it in my hometown is awesome because you can see it grow. And some of these families I have known forever.”

Clint started Kringle's Kitchen out of his own pocket, funding the meals from what his family would have spent on his gifts.

But he soon realized there was a limit to what he alone could do.

In the past four years, he's gotten elves of his own in the form of volunteers and high schoolers who pitch in to make the program a success.

And by now, they have it down to a science.

“One plate, I would say probably 20-30 seconds," he said.

Every plate has a personal touch with a written note and candy cane.

Clint's charity makes the holiday a special one for those who maybe wouldn't otherwise have a meal or something to celebrate.

“Kringle's Christmas folks, thanks a lot for the Christmas dinner. That was so sweet of you all. We appreciate it more than we can tell you. It was real good. Thanks again. God bless. Love and prayers," wrote one family in a thank you note.

Sentiments on the pages of that card and the many more like it sent to Clint every Christmas only reaffirm why he and his family dedicate their holiday to their community.

“You know, I think to me it's what Christmas is really about. Giving all year is the good thing but when you think of Christmas you think of that and what the true meaning is and lightening someone's holiday and bringing something they may not have had otherwise. So being able to do that is an awesome feeling for me. Puts Christmas into perspective for me," said Clint.

If you know of an Everyday Hero in your life, please let us know.

Just click here to make your nomination.

We'll profile an Everyday Hero each month on Heartland News and all of our heroes will be honored at the annual Red Cross Recognition Luncheon.

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