Jackson, NJ ‘Santa Jim’ needs your help
Since 2013, Jim Mitchell aka "Jackson's Santa Jim" has been making deliveries to families who have suffered catastrophic events in full costume with a sleigh full of gifts. Among those he's helped through the years include a Mom with ALS and the family of a New Jersey State Trooper who died of colon cancer at the age of 39. He could use your help with this year's run which will take place on December 18.
Every Thanksgiving, Santa Jim puts out a list on his Facebook where he's going and what he will need to have in the sleigh for those kids who have suffered a tragic event in their lives and this year is no different.
I spoke with Santa Jim on my New Jersey 101.5 show who told me how it all began.
"In 2013, the Jackson Police Department reached out to me and asked me if I would deliver Christmas to a family who lost everything in a house fire. And they wanted me to deliver in suit and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do so. So when I went, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, including all the people that were helping out with the delivery that day. And I came home that night. And I told my wife that we will be delivering families from that year on as long as I could. And, and we have."
The families have no idea that Santa Jim is coming.
"We usually try to surprise the families that we're going to" says Santa Jim. "And they'll find out when we get there. We usually arrange it through a family member to make sure they'll be at their destination where we'll be delivering whether it's their house or a family member's house..It's pretty awesome, that's what I can say about it. I have a whole crew of people that go with me every year anybody and everybody's invited to come and witness it and get in the line from Santa sleigh."
Let's talk about that sleigh
"I tow the sleigh with a 29 Chevrolet dump truck or a 31 Ford Model A pickup. We have a whole parade of antique cars that lead the way to bring Santa and they're all decorated."
The families have no idea that Santa is coming, like Melissa Cuoto who suffered from ALS and her children.
"Oh, absolutely," says Santa Jim "It's a real shame that I have to say that Melissa, the woman with ALS that we delivered last year passed since then. And that's a real shame. But every year we do families that are definitely catastrophic events, stuff that's definitely out of their control. And those kids, they're going through the stresses of life. So they still need that Christmas spirit. And we come in, and even if it's for just the time while we're there, we're taking their mind off of their reality, which is usually a pretty bad reality. And we're giving them that little bit of Christmas that they're missing out on due to the circumstances going on in their life."
What are the stories that stick out most to Santa Jim?
"There are so many of them. I mean, I did two little boys in Bricktown who lost their dad, he was 29 years old, and it was a Halloween night when he passed.. Those boys were just devastated."
"And when I went there, I always tell them why Santa is there for special delivery. And then the older of the two was seven at the time. Christopher and his lip just started quivering. And thank goodness it was pouring rain when we were doing the delivery that night because even Santa didn't have a dry so use the rain as a cover-up for that. But I couldn't speak or anything but there's been so many of them, but I tried to give them a really good speed speech of why I'm there based on their situation. And, you know, it's, it's really a cool thing to do what makes you come."
Every Thanksgiving, Santa Jim puts out a list on his Facebook where he's going and what he will need to have in the sleigh for those kids who have suffered a tragic event in their lives and this year is no different. Any kind of donations will be of great help. It all goes to the families.
If you'd like to help, please send your donations to Kris Kringle Studios at 80 Scenic Drive Suite 3 in Freehold NJ 07728. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated Here's Santa Jim's list
"Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. While we gather together with our families and give thanks for all of the great things in our lives please remember that there are a lot of people hurting out there. As many of you know I look for families every year who have had catastrophic events in their life that will alter their Christmases.
This year I will be delivering Christmas to three families on 12/18 in my 1845 Sleigh. The families are as follows:
*The first family we will go to is the family of Amy Cottrell. Amy lost a long battle with cancer in September leaving behind her husband Tim and 4 children 13yr old Nicholas, 11yr old Micheal, and twin 8 yr old girls Alyssa, and Katelyn.
Nicholas is 13 years old. He wears a size large in men's clothing. His shoe size is 10 mens. He enjoys fishing and likes baseball but spends most of his time on his computer playing games.
Michael is 11 years old and a little bigger than his older brother. He wears size XL in mens clothing. His shoe size is 12 WIDE in mens. Michael enjoys basketball and playing video games. He has a sudden interest in wearing neck chains.
The twin girls are 8 years old. Their names are Alyssa and Katelyn. They wear a size 12 in girls clothes. Their shoe size is 2.5 - 3 in girls.
They enjoy playing with Barbies. They also enjoy dolls similar to "Our Generation" dolls at target, (they are like "American Girl" dolls) and also baby dolls. They love to dance at home to todays pop hits.
Tim, their dad, wears size XL in mens clothing and size 10.5-11 WIDE in shoes. He has a far commute to work.
The second family we will visit will be that of Daniel McCabe Murray, she lost her husband suddenly in 2020 and to make matters worse while living with her dad this past August their house burned down taking their 2 dogs and three cats with it. She has a 9 yr old daughter Peyton who not only lost her pets and home but also all of her keepsakes from her dad.
Peyton Loves sparkling things and Toy and mechanical horses, Barbie dolls, and Kitten stuffed animals, She loves to play dress up and wear princess-type dresses, arts, and crafts things would also suit her well. Peyton's favorite colors are purple and blue.
Mom Danielle Like scandals, and lightly scented perfumes, She is a size 2 Or small.
The 3rd family we will go to is that of Tina Stanley
Tina's husband was hit while walking and killed And he left behind 2 small children Joseph 3 and Anna 2.
Clothes Size: 3T Shoe Size: 8 Coat Size: 3T PJ Size: 4T
Melissa & Doug PAW Patrol Big Truck Pupps Rubble
Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Launch & Loop Maintenance Yard
Tonka Steel Classics Mighty Cement Mixer
Anything Fireman or Firetruck Related
Peppa Pig Wooden Family Figures
CoComelon Deluxe Clubhouse Playset
Disney Junior Mickey Mouse Treasure Adventure Pirate Ship
2T Shoe Size: 5 Coat Size: 2T PJ Size: 2T
Fisher-Price Little People Barbie Little Dreamhouse
Care Bear Glitter Cheer Bear Plush
Baby Alive Sudsy Styling Doll (Pink Bow)
Learning Toys of any kind (2yrs & Up)
Little Girl Pottie Training Pottie
Disney Junior’s Minnie Mouse Bow-Care Doctor Bag
CoComelon Official Musical Bedtime JJ Doll
Pants- 8/9 Shirts- Large Shoe Size: 8 ½ Coat Size: 10
The 4th family we will visit is the family of Alicia Decker While getting ready to go out for Alicia's birthday dinner her husband said he was not feeling well oh and asked her to go with the children and enjoy her birthday dinner upon arriving home they found her husband had suffered a major heart attack and passed. He left behind 2 children Tyler 12yrs old and Owen 6 yrs old.
Details to follow
The fifth family is the family of Matthew Horton who passed from covid leaving his wife and four children. Melanie , Bradley, Robert, Brandon, and Jeremy.
And the 6th family is that of Brian Stockoff who passed suddenly in a motor vehicle accident. Leaving his wife and 2 children.
Brody is 13 years old, his sizes are as follows:
Shirt, T-Shirts, Sweat Shirt, size 14 or large.
Pants, Sweat Pants, size 14.
Shoe Size 10 1/2.
His interests include: collecting Pokemon cards, and playing football, his favorite team is New England Patriots. He did request a wetsuit for next summer). In the summer he likes to go boogie boarding. He likes to go Rock Climbing.
A Super Soft 55" VR Mat for Virtual Reality
Favorite candy, Hershey Bars, Gummy Bears, Gum, Kit Kats, and Pop-corn
Madison Rose is very mature 11 years old (acts more like 13) her sizes are as follows:
Top, Sweater, Sweat Shirts, T-Shirts: Size10-12, or Medium
Pants, Sweat Pans, Black Stretch Pants: 10-12 or Medium
Shoes: Size 6 1/2
Her interests include:
Diamond Painting, Making Jewelry with clay beads.
Shopping on Amazon
Riding her bicycle (she needs a new basket)
She told me for Christmas she would like gift cards to places like Dunken Donuts, Kohls, Jewelry, Michaels, or just a Visa gift card so she can use it at any of her favorite places.
Her favorite Candy is: Hershey Bar, Ferraio Roche, Tik Taks, Pezz.
Heather is a very picky person when it comes to her clothes so I would suggest just gift cards for that, but she does have things likes to do.
She is planning to get back into her photography Business she started a few years ago, so she gave me a wish list for some ideas of things her father and I could get for her to update her equipment:
Gift card to a Camera Shop for a new camera.
Photo Shop Software (for Mac computer)
The large Mac Pro Monitor
Wood floor shampoo cleaner. (Since she has 3 dogs)
She is also interested in taking Golf Lessons for her and Brody or Gift Card to a Virtual Golf.
Gift Cards to Dunken Donut, Costco, Kohls, Stop and Shop, and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who help me in so many ways every year to make Christmas for these families. May you all have an awesome Thanksgiving. Thank you and God bless you all. Santa.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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