Santa Claus made a special stop today in Monroe County. He’s ringing in Meals On Wheels’ annual holiday gift drive. 

Giving back is one of the best parts of the holiday season. No one knows that better than this jolly old elf.

"Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas"

That’s why Monroe County Meals On Wheels is glad to have his help today.

Monroe County Meals On Wheels Special Events Coordinator Stacey Koeck says, "He came a little early down from the North Pole to help us kickoff our Holiday Gift Drive. We’re really happy to have him and excited to start this time when we collect gifts for our clients."

Some gifts from the heart have already been delivered for their over 250 homebound residents.

 Koeck says, "The Pocono Mountain Quilters Guild does wonderful holiday place mats. The Western Pocono Women’s Club makes lovely lap quilts and we’ve had other individuals just come in and bring us hats."

But they’re going to need a lot more. Anything from puzzles to flashlights to essential toiletry items can be dropped of unwrapped at their location, the Ross Township Municipal Building, Mike Petersons State Farm in Stroudsburg or at the Ertle Subaru Dealerships. 

Monroe County Meals On Wheels Executive Director Heidi Fareri says, "For many of them, this is the only recognition they get at the holidays and we hear that all the time. We’ll get thank you notes saying how grateful they are for getting something at the holiday, something to bring them some cheer."

The nonprofit’s volunteer Santa Squad  will then deliver them the two Saturdays before Christmas.

Monroe County Meals On Wheels Volunteer Axel Desarden says, "I got the email for the Santa Squad and I signed up right away. [Santa] Thank you for volunteering. We appreciate it."

Tobyhanna Resident Axel Desarden just started delivering meals to clients three months ago. He’s humbled by the new joy in his life and hopes everyone can experience it.

Desarden says, "Whatever you can spare, would be greatly appreciated and it would definitely fill something meaningful inside you. Call it magical if you will but it’s always great to serve somebody else."

Just be sure to drop off the gifts at one of the five locations by December 10th and contact Meals on Wheels if you’d like to volunteer. Getting into the Christmas spirit in Stroud Township, Nicole Walters, News13.

Ertle Subaru is also helping Monroe County Meals On Wheels with their annual "Share The Love Event." Just select Meals On Wheels as the charity if you purchase or lease one of their brand new Subaru’s between now and January 3rd.