CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — A Camden man who spreads holiday cheer in his hometown every year is branching out thanks to a helping hand from the construction community.
Ray Jones launched his annual week-long holiday charity drive at a North Camden daycare center.
Dressed as Santa, the former police captain turned philanthropist, hoisted preschoolers up on his lap and gave them stuffed animals and toys.
For some of the kids these will be their only Christmas presents.
“We feel like its our job to do it because we were born and raised here,” he said.
“We” includes members of Jones’ non-profit and a new partner Torcon Construction.
Melissa Wyatt with Torcon Construction says Jones needed the help.
“He’s getting phone calls from so many organizations that he hadn’t in the past so we were able to fill the gap on any new people coming in that were in need,” she said.
The fundraising and organizing can be exhausting, but Jones says the payoff is exhilarating.
Jones says when see the smiles on their faces and they’re ecstatic it reminds them that all the hard work that goes into putting this event together is worth it.