Santa's Angels delivers gifts to hundreds of Islanders in need

About 100 volunteers — some dressed in Santa suits — will hit the streets of P.E.I. on Christmas Day, handing out gifts to people with limited means.

Kenny Zakem founded program that delivers gifts on Christmas Day in 2004

Volunteers with Santa's Angels pose with a new donation for their program. (Santa's Angels)

About 100 volunteers — some dressed in Santa suits — will hit the streets of P.E.I. on Christmas Day, handing out gifts to people with limited means.

It's the most important day of the year for Santa's Angels, a group that works all year to raise money for presents and nominate families who might need extra support over the holidays.

"It just feels great," said Kenny Zakem, who started the program in 2004 along with Don Wright and Father Stephen Allen.

"There's no better feeling than knowing you're there to help people. Their spirits are lifted, they're happy."

What was once a project run by a small handful of volunteers has now grown to a group of nearly 100 members.

This year, the group is expecting to deliver gifts to nearly 400 houses, as well as making appearances at seniors' homes.

Community involvement

People who receive gifts can be nominated by others or ask for help directly.

"We don't judge. We're not there to judge," said Zakem.

He's pleased with the success of the project so far, noting that some entire families now participate, spending their Christmas morning together dressed as Santa delivering presents to those in need.

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