PEYTON, Colo. — A toy drive serving students in need started by a special-needs school bus driver is now marking its 15-year anniversary, KOAA reports.
During Santa’s Toy Express, elementary school students in School District 49 ride the bus to breakfast, are taken shopping for Christmas gifts for their families, and get a surprise visit and gifts from Santa Claus at the end of the day, according to the news source. Volunteers, including high school students and junior ROTC cadets, look after the students while they shop for gifts. Afterward, they can participate in face painting, ornament making, and watch a magic show.
RJ Berry, a special-needs school bus driver in District 49, told KOAA he had initially come up with an idea to bring students to school for a breakfast with Santa Claus, and buy them a new coat. The event began with 15 students but now aims to serve 49, in honor of the district number, every holiday season.
The cost of putting on Santa’s Toy Express is about $6,000, and is covered with donations from corporate sponsors, according to the news source. This year, 51 students received gifts for themselves and their families through the event.
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