Special Kids Get Christmas Surprise

Special needs children and Head Start kids at four LEUSD school sites received gifts from Santa and Mrs. Claus compliments of Lake Elsinore City Councilman Daryl Hickman.

The is on break for the holidays through Jan. 8, but during the last day of classes Dec. 16, some of the district’s special kids were sent home with Christmas gifts in hand.

Special needs children and Head Start kids at , and received gifts from Santa and Mrs. Claus Friday compliments of and the women’s auxiliary at

In total 174 gifts were purchased for the children by Hickman, although he said the Elks Lodge women also pitched in.

“It’s just my way of making kids happy at Christmas. They touch my heart,” Hickman said as he watched over a group of special needs kids Friday at William Collier Elementary.

Hickman and his band of merry helpers, which included dressed as Santa and Tim Fleming as his assistant, visited the four school sites beginning Friday morning through noon that day.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” Hickman said, noting that preparation for the gift giveaway starts about four weeks prior to Christmas. “I couldn’t do it without the Elks ladies.”

In addition to the gifts, the kids each received a certificate donated by for a free gallon of milk. Knight, who owns the was also giving out free bowling passes.

Toys that were not handed out Friday are being donated to the nonprofit , Hickman said.



Jeanne Cordova Chavez December 20, 2011 at 02:33 PM
What a great thing to do. Sometimes the special needs children are forgotten during the Christmas giving season. Thanks to the Elks Ladies, Daryl Hickman, Michel Knight and Herman DeJong for remembering our "special" kids. You don't know how much it means to them to have a special visit from Santa. Thanks again.
DoubleNaughtNeice March 13, 2012 at 08:26 AM
BTW they are not all young children, I hope this extended to the older ones who are also often without much more than a daycare program, but I am thankful they have that. I volunteered 8 years putting on a huge event and raised over $4 Million to help severe Autistic and Dev DIsabled children and adults. I have met the most amazing people whom one comes to mind she couldnt talk or walk or communicate but she painted pictured , all in the bathroom with a baby. it was her, each one had a mallard duck , a telephone had piece old style phone and were in places like the reflection of the babys eyes or in a puddle of water on the floor and a duck with a red tear and a hand of an ault and a broken tub. I looked 5 years at that painting and one day i noticed the phon in the bottom of the colored eyeball. she did a series and I cant recall her name but she was 40+ years old and to see her i couldnt even imagine her holding a paint brush, she was so disabled physically mentally and I loved her . I miss them all so much. I have always stepped up for others since age 12 and brought my easter cabdy to Childrens Hospital and shared it with the sick children my Best friend and I didnt get candy alot so this was a big sacrifice but I didnt care I just wanted to make a kid smile. Sorry to run on in this thread people. Its been a tough day today. I am sorry to rant but feel better . I apologize for drifting off topic


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