Local News

Pure kindness: Man donates hundreds of toys to elementary students

Posted December 25, 2018 9:32 a.m. EST
Updated December 25, 2018 10:41 a.m. EST

— Chris Edwards looks like your average man -- but he may be forever known as the Santa Claus of Franklin County.

Together with his friends, Edwards started a plan to collect gifts for children experiencing hardships next Christmas -- but the conversation quickly turned into collecting hundreds of toys for 300 students this year.

Thanks to Edwards, there were no frowns a week before Christmas at Laurel Mill Elementary. The school gymnasium was filled with toys, and the students had no idea where they came from. "We were walking in and so surprised to see all these toys," said Erica Benitez, one of the students.

Franklin County man gifts hundreds of toys to children

Many students at the school face hardships outside the classroom. Edwards, who along with his sister just lost their dad, knows. That's why he created a Winter Wonderland to give children in need their happiest holiday possible.

The original goal was for each child to get one gift each, but the community chipped in so much that each child was able to receive three.

"This is what Christmas is all about," said Edwards, now recognized as a real-life Santa Claus. "I think this is my best Christmas yet."

Franklin County man gifts hundreds of toys to children