Mr. and Mrs. Claus are on a mission to give back to the community, but are in need of help.
Rich and Linda Huggins, also known as the Clauses, continue to seek donations of unwrapped toys and nonperishable food through their seventh annual “15 Days of Christmas” event.
Now through Dec. 23, residents can meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Huggins household 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Clauses ask visitors to bring donations.
“We’re down on donations this year,” Rich Huggins said. “The demand is higher and we’re down.”
Linda Huggins said she hopes the extra weekend in this year’s event, which started Nov. 23, will benefit the cause.
“The good thing is we have five weeks this year versus four,” Mrs. Claus said. “So I’m hoping with five weeks we can get a larger support base, but unfortunately it’s been slow in coming.”
Friday night, Maricopa residents Sandy and Ron Horne visited the jolly couple with a monetary donation.
“We wanted to give a donation that would be used for kids throughout the community, kids who may not be getting very much,” Ron Horne said. “We’re very happy to help support the community.”
The giving spirit of “15 Days of Christmas” was birthed more than two decades ago, Linda Huggins said.
“Twenty-five years ago I was a single mother living on welfare,” she said. “I was concerned as to how I was going to be able to do something for my kids for Christmas.”
Huggins said she was living in California at the time and Catholic Charities provided her with a Christmas basket with toys and food.
“At that point – as corny as it sounds – I promised God that I would do whatever I could to give back,” she said.
Maezigh Champley said she was excited to take part in this year’s event as one of Santa’s volunteer elves.
“I want to help out people who don’t have food or the stuff that they need,” Maezigh said.
Next door neighbor, Bridgit Donohue is continuing her second year as contributor to the “15 Days of Christmas” events. She said she loves how the neighborhood comes together to help the cause.