COLUMBUS, Ohio — He offers the help of a gloved hand while covered in the secrecy of his Columbus apartment.
“I’ve always loved Christmas,” the man, who calls himself ‘Snowman’, said. “I’ve loved Santa. Secretly always wanted to be Santa, I think.”
His name is not as important as his identity.
Snowman owns a small courier company. Last year, while delivering food to homeless shelters, he says he saw another need. The shelter, due to COVID, had no Santa Claus for Christmas deliveries.
He grew out his goatee into a beard, got a chair, some toys and, of course, a red suit.
“I know how to fill out a Santa suit that’s for sure,” Snowman said laughing.
He delivered 400 toys last year. Every one of them went to those who don’t have a place to call home.
“I’m getting it to them, too,” he said. “I mean, if they’re under a bridge, I’m gonna get it to them.”
He started a business, Real Deal Santa Claus and created a board.
“I’m hoping that it makes a difference and I feel like a lot of other people think that it’s gonna make a difference,” he said.
This year, Snowman is hoping for upwards of 2,000 deliveries, while utilizing Amazon Wish List and donations that he repurposes and “re-energizes.”
“Isn’t that Santa,” he said. “Doesn’t Santa make the toys? Doesn’t Santa collect the toys? Doesn’t Santa distribute the toys? If I’m gonna do it, I might as well do it all the way, right?”
This is his identity: a helper. A giver. Draped in red velvet, trimmed in the fluffiest of white fur, he’s just a man who believes in mankind and faith.
“You don’t have to believe in Santa,” he said. “You don’t have to believe in me. But you have to believe that we can do something together about this. You got to have faith.”