Deputy 'Santas' Target Elderly for Christmas

'Santa' comes early to Midlands seniors


By News Department

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) -- Richland County deputies are targeting the elderly...for crimes of the heart. As ABC Columbia's Monique Williams discovered, Santa is bringing Christmas early for some Midlands seniors.

You don't have to be jolly, wear a red suit and fly a sleigh to help out those in need this holiday season. Just as some retired deputies from the Richland County Sheriff's Department. They have no beards but do have badges of honor for the fourth annual Be a Santa to a Senior.

90-something year old Johnny Stephens and his wife are grateful.

"It makes me feel good," said Stephens. "[My wife] has been sick and when people do things for you it makes you feel better."

It's like the seed principle of Jesus," explained Retired Sgt. Samuel Thompson. "As you give and plant, whatever you plan returns back to you."

The Department teamed up with Home Instead Senior Care and Chick-fil-A to collect and distribute basic necessities (pajamas, toothpaste, toiletries, etc.) for some 160 seniors throughout the county. Approximately two dozen seniors need to be adopted.

90-something siblings Marie and Richard Entzminger are glad to see Santa so early.

"I feel like if they wanna help me, I won't tell them no," said Marie.

"I feel good about it," agreed her brother, Richard.

To bring joy to those remaining elderly folks who Santa still needs to visit, contact the Richland County Sheriff Department's HOPE (Helping Our Precious Elderly) program at 803-576-3000.

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