Santa and Sierra
Santa and Sierra
When Eleanor Roosevelt said that strength and courage can be gained by looking fear in the face, she must have been speaking of someone like my friend, Santa.
In 2007, several folks gathered together and decided we needed to host a Christmas Morning Breakfast for people who are alone. What better place than to hold our first event, at the little church on Center Street which was the Art Center.
Plans were made, volunteers were contacted, and the excitement was sizzling as we opened the doors on December 25th, to a large group of hungry, lonely people. We fried bacon and eggs, served muffins, coffee and juice. Several firemen came to assist folks down the stairs.
Young and old came, single parents with children, divorcees, widows and widowers, and some came just because it was wonderful!
Then, who should arrive, but Santa, with a booming Ho! Ho! Ho! He was a hit! He hugged and talked with everyone there, had small gifts for each one and when I wasn’t looking—he disappeared.
The next year, he came again. I told the firemen to block the doors if Santa tried to disappear again. Caught! His true identity was revealed. This was the beginning of a long friendship and we are still fast friends today.
Sierra was his little rescued dog, and went everywhere with him on his scooter—but don’t try to pet her because you could lose a finger. She was only loyal to him.
Santa is a veteran and a diabetic. He continues to visit churches, nursing homes and folks in the city. Nothing stops him from from helping where he can, and he always prays for each person and dog he sees.
Santa is an inspiration to me. He makes me laugh, and at times makes me weep in anguish, at his surgeries and for loosing Sierra. His grief was acute, but the joy before was even greater.
Sierra didn’t need a new car, or a vacation in Hawaii. For her, bliss was to be close to Santa, have a belly rub or a scooter ride on a sunny day, a cuddle and a soft word. Santa always said, “God sees my heart and so does Sierra.”
Consider visiting the Ashland County Dog Shelter, walking a dog, and maybe rescuing a pup. Your life will never be the same.
Dianne Hammontree, secretary of Homeward Bound 501[c]3