Hilton’s Santa helps kids donate to SPCA

2016-12-22 10:42
Brad Lancaster entertains children at a Christmas function.

Brad Lancaster entertains children at a Christmas function. (Supplied)

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Hilton children don’t have to worry whether they’ve been naughty or nice this Christmas because Father Christmas asks only for one thing this year, a donation for the SPCA.

Hilton couple Louise and Brad Lancaster have been bringing Father Christmas to children for three consecutive Christmases.

“The idea started when I did it for a friend and then decided it would be nice to extend the offer to the Hilton community. My wife then spent a week making a very convincing Father Christmas suit for me, which I use to deliver the presents to the children in the community.” said Brad Lancaster. Parents buy presents for their children and deliver them to Louise at the Hilton police station with a name on them.

Lancaster delivers the presents house to house as Santa, and the children donate cat or dog food to him in return, which the Lancasters donate to the SPCA. He said animals have always been the couple’s first love. “We have always had animals and also used to breed and show Persian cats many years ago. Unfortunately we have downsized and no longer have animals, except for one very spoilt cockatiel.”

Putting an effort into one’s community is important to Lancaster.

“I believe we don’t need to go far to bring joy to others, as often there is a need in our own communities. I am a firm believer of the butterfly effect, and so believe, that a smile on one person’s face may result in exhaustive joy to another across the world.” Lancaster is an investigator and polygrapher with Red Alert and his wife Louise is a policewoman.

“Louise and I always get way, much more out of doing this as the children’s smiles and joy are overwhelming. The children also love giving Santa a present for the animals and I believe this teaches the act of giving. When we do this it creates a ripple effect of giving, and it spreads across multiple boundaries.”

The main events happen on Christmas eve and morning, but Lancaster said Hilton’s Santa also makes appearances at smaller parties before Christmas.

“I normally deliver to the houses at 5 pm on Christmas eve and then again at 7 am on Christmas morning, but I also did a small party this past weekend that included special needs children. I’ve also done some pre-primary schools, including Jacaranda Pre Primary School who were very generous with their donations,” he said.

Lancaster encouraged less lavish gifts. “Giving joy does not necessarily mean a monetary gift, but rather giving the most expensive thing in the world, which is your time.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  christmas

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