‘Santa Del’ seeking special gifts from community - Republic-Times | News

‘Santa Del’ seeking special gifts from community

By on November 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

Delbert Paris, otherwise known as Santa Del

Take it from Santa. ‘Tis always better to give than receive.
That’s the message one Columbia man is trying to spread across Monroe County this upcoming holiday season.

Delbert Paris, who serves as a driver for Monroe-Randolph County Transit much of the year, also uses his naturally flowing white beard and physical similarities to Father Christmas as a way to spread holiday cheer in November and December.

“They say I look pretty real,” he said.

Paris — otherwise known as Santa Del — is a member of Santa America, a national volunteer service organization for professional Santas.

In addition to gigs as Jolly Ol’ St. Nick at St. Clair Square, Santa’s Magical Kingdom near Six Flags, and even Bass Pro Shops, Paris volunteers at BJC Hospice in Alton and makes appearances at area daycare facilities and other events.

Santa America members visit children and families in crisis, whether that be at home, in a hospital, or hospice.

This year, Paris is joining other such Santas in promoting a special Socks, Underwear and Belts for Santa (S.U.B.S.) collection drive this holiday season.

“To me, it seems like a very worthwhile project to be a part of,” he said.

Enlisting the help of local Boy Scouts, “Santa Del” will have 25 drop boxes placed at local banks, churches and grocery stores in an effort to collect new pairs of socks, underwear and belts for young children (ages 5-12) who live in poverty level households.

“All of these donations will only go to Monroe County kids in need,” Paris stressed.

The S.U.B.S. collection drive runs now through Dec. 15. For more information on this collection effort, or to donate, call Paris at 618-917-6709, or email  grayfox47us@yahoo.com.

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.