Saint Nicholas Christmas Foundation born from founder’s birth date

Updated: Dec. 17, 2019 at 2:46 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -When you’re born on Christmas day and your mom names you Nicholas your future is pretty well mapped out.

Nicholas Newell hasn’t let his mom down yet.

Nicholas, a local realtor, started the Saint Nicholas Christmas Foundation six years ago with a simple goal.

“When I originally started, it was basically me just posting on social media trying to get friends to donate money,” Newell said. “The goal was to buy a bunch of teddy bears then go donate to a Children’s hospital in Durham.”

That year his Foundation donated roughly 100 bears while raising $1,500. Each year that total has grown, and so has his original idea.

The Saint Nicholas Christmas Foundation provides gifts for seniors and children each Christmas...
The Saint Nicholas Christmas Foundation provides gifts for seniors and children each Christmas season.(WECT)

“Giving the kids in Children’s hospitals teddy bears evolved into donating to first responders who are able to give them out when kids are all sorts of incidents - from a house being robbed to a car accident. Whatever it is a stuffed animal can make a world of difference in that situation," Newell said.

Staying with that idea would have been the easy thing to do. Instead, Newell involved senior citizens, who without his gifts would likely have nothing because they don’t have anybody in their lives.

“We try to specifically look at residents who are either without living family members or are on very restricted income," Newell explained. “You see some of these people at the end stages of their lives that are on our list and by the time we go to deliver their presents have passed away, you know it’s a sad reality, but it’s a reality.”

The positives far outweigh the negatives and in the case of the Saint Nicholas Christmas Foundation, the pluses can be seen in the growing number of people it’s helping.

“Usually I work with activity directors at the assisted living facilities and I stress to them anyone and everyone and I want you to ask them for anything they want, you know don’t make them feel like they can only ask for one thing and don’t turn anyone away and we haven’t had to," Newell said.

Click here for more information about the Saint Nicholas Christmas Foundation.

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