Many children at Christmas time, unfortunately, don't receive any presents. However, thanks to resourceful and kind-hearted people such as U.S. veteran Jim Annis, some of these kids will be receiving hand-made toys over the holiday period.
80-year old Annis lives in North Carolina and has been making and donating wooden toys for kids in need for 50 years. He has no plans to stop anytime soon.
Jim Annis, a real-life Santa Claus
Annis truly takes the Christmas spirit of giving back to those who need it the most. Over the last 50 years, he has been making toys by hand for families who struggle to give presents to their children.
Annis told WTVD "When the Salvation Army gives out food and clothes to people in this area, I give out my toys."
Annis crafts, carves, sands, and sculpts around 300 wooden blocks into toys each year and donates them to the Salvation Army in Sanford. It's no wonder he spends most of his days in his workshop.
Some of the wood is donated by local homeowners, however, the majority of it comes directly out of Annis' own pocket. For Annis, though, it isn't about the money.
He remembers not receiving gifts at Christmas time when he was a child. Growing up in a family of five kids meant that presents over the holiday season were few and far between.
As Annis put it "My dad he worked, but didn't make a lot of money. It's hard to have a big Christmas with five kids."
All in all, Annis spends around $1,000 each year on materials for the toys.
The beautifully-crafted wooden toys vary from small and large cars, dolls, piggy banks, tractors, and firetrucks. There's something for every little boy and girl.
Annis has no plans of stopping his Christmas tradition anytime soon, and whenever he's asked about his payment he cheerfully says "I tell them my pay is when I see the smile on kids' faces."
There's the true Christmas spirit.