CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The spirit of Christmas has taken over one man and he has devoted his life to giving back to others.
That man is Santa. Well, one of Santa's helpers that lives in Cape Girardeau anyway.
His name is not important. In fact, he would rather not even share it. It is the reason why he wants to help out that is important.
Around Christmas, this man brings his Santa suit out and his life changes for the season.
"I want to bring the joy and the spirit of Christmas into everyone, every child. And every human being," Santa said.
His regular job is with Cape Girardeau County. However, during the holidays, that job is second to his real passion...putting on the suit and caring for others.
"Normally what I do is manage my schedule just before Christmas," Santa explained. "I take that time off, like one or two weeks in December just to do Santa Claus."
This Santa is very busy this time of year, going around Southeast Missouri to meet all the children and adults and to spread Christmas cheer. This even extends to other times of the year including an event he does as Santa in July in Poplar Bluff.
"I do a lot of volunteering because that's what I've always done," Santa said. "I volunteered for the United States Army when I got out of high school. After the Army, I got married and volunteered as a fire fighter for 22 years. I guess it's just in my blood. I like helping people. It's the way I was raised. My mother said help anybody, anytime you get a chance."
He said this is one of the most rewarding parts of life. To be able to spread love and give someone a sense of meaning and wonder to their life, as well as, something to look forward to in the Christmas season and all year long.
"When I see a little kid or child, it just brings it out in me. I want to make sure they get that opportunity to see Santa and visit with him," Santa added.
One thing that makes him want to volunteer is his childhood.
"When I was a kid, we didn't get to see Santa Claus," Santa explained. "We were too poor. Mom and dad raised four kids and that's what they done, for the kids. We didn't have money to go see Santa Claus or visit."
With the past as encouragement to help others, it's those moments when he sees a child and makes an impact on them for the better that makes the memories for both him and the child, or anyone for that matter.
"It just fills you with so much joy and happiness," Santa said. "And you want to pass that on to the next person. Pay it forward as they say."
If you would like to see Santa, he will be available to visit on Christmas at Stooges restaurant in Jackson at 1 p.m.