Macomb Township has its own Santa Claus and his name is Michael Chase. Instead of spending a quiet Christmas morning around the tree, Chase and his family deliver gifts to 60-80 needy families living in and around the Mound Road Housing Projects in Detroit.
Chase - or "Santa C" as he's known downtown - has marked the holiday the same way for the past 21 years and plans to do so again this year, but he needs your help.
Although he’s received donations from as far away as Minnesota, Florida, Texas, and California, there can never be enough for the poverty-stricken residents. Here’s a few of the needed items:
- Canned goods, boxed food, candy
- Gently used toys (with working batter
- New toys
- Gift certificates to places such as McDonald’s
- Used clothes/all sizes for men, women & children (only good condition)
- Hats, gloves, coats, shoes (all sizes)
- Small appliances and kitchen utensils, plates, cups
- Comforters, bedding, sheets, pillows, blankets
- Paper products (napkins, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent)
- Any new or used TV’s or DVD player
- Bikes, skateboards, children’s riding toys
- Cash - used to buy turkeys, gift cards, batteries, etc. Cash donations are also used to pay for the U-Haul truck used to transport the donations each Christmas.
Chase asks that people simply leave items on his front porch of his home, located at 17352 Ringneck in the Walnut Creek subdivision. Call him directly at 586-214-3656.
Chase’s generosity began 21 years ago, when he delivered a bag of stuffed animals to the site. “The kids asked if I would be coming back next year (and) I haven’t missed one Christmas since,” he said.
As the donations continue to roll in year after year, Chase ran out of room in the family car and had to rent a U-Haul truck. He has collected and distributed enough items to fill the biggest U-Haul available. Last year, he gave out 40 bikes.
He’s even reached out to families living near the Mound Road area and surprised them at their homes with a frozen turkey, new toy, and even an appliance or two.
Although he’s playing the role of Santa for the many needy families, he will not take full credit.
“I wish I could name all the family and friends who take time from their busy schedules and go out of their way every year for my cause. Many teach their children the gift of giving and have them pick out what toys they want to donate to another child. God Bless those people ... I just deliver them,” he said.