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"Mountain Santa" delivers toys to kids in Harlan County

MGN Online

MGN Online

LOYALL, Ky. (WYMT) - He has prepared all year, and now the "Mountain Santa" is bringing both toys and smiles to kids in Harlan County.

For nearly four decades, Michael Howard has distributed toys to kids in Harlan County as the Mountain Santa.

"I started out in one truck, and it's grown up to 115 trucks, sometimes more," he said.

This year, his son Jordan is helping out by wearing the red suit on some of the runs.

"It's just a joy," he said. "You give from your heart, and that's what it's all about."

In Loyall Tuesday, around 40 volunteers helped pass out more than 500 gifts and bags of goodies to kids who might not otherwise receive them.

"I think that it's really good that they're doing this for the kids, especially the ones that don't really have a lot for Christmas and aren't going to get as much as other kids," said Whitney Farmer, whose niece and nephew received gifts.

It is hard work, but it is something the Mountain Santa says he doesn't plan on giving up any time soon.

"It's a joy to watch my boy giving stuff out and I'm standing back watching him," he said.

Both Mike and Jordan say joy is what brings them back year after year, but it isn't about them.

"If the Lord wasn't in this we couldn't do it," Jordan said. "We give all the credit to the Lord, because if it wasn't for Him we couldn't do nothing."

Mike says he could not do it without the dedicated team of volunteers that make the Mountain Santa a blessing for all.

The Mountain Santa is set to make five rounds of deliveries this year, leading up to Christmas Eve, where he will hand out up to 30 truckloads of toys to needy kids in the area.

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