The Santas are proteges of Larry Stewart, who roamed the Kansas City streets each December handing out $100. Before he died of cancer two years ago, Stewart had doled out about $1.3 million in 26 years of charity.
The entire story, written skillfully by AP writer Cheryl Wittenauer, was touching. But this particular passage affected me the most:
Leotta Burbank, 50, of West Frankfurt, Ill., was at a thrift store Friday to buy decorations for her sister-in-law's room at a St. Louis hospice, where she is dying of pancreatic cancer.
When Santa gave her money, Burbank collapsed into his arms and wouldn't stop hugging him.
"God provides," she said. "This is real emotional for me."
Now, if we could only channel this sort of thing 364 more days out of the year, we'd be rolling.