Most Santas ride in on sleighs but this Santa came to town in a new way. Although we just wrapped up November, retired US Army member Steve Humphries is already bringing the Christmas spirit to Lake Charles.
Humphries is the Chief at the Casualty Assistance Center in Fort Polk. As a military man, he's actively involved in veteran's services and organizations and on his spare time, he's also a Santa Clause.
"I belong to an organization called Santa America," said Humphries. "It's an international group of Santa Clauses and we're very specialized."
Humphries specializes in special needs, autistic and military children. He says playing Santa is his way of spreading joy during the holidays. This year, "Santa Steve" came to town in style and on a boat. He boarded the USS Orleck with two of his elves for a meet and greet with local kids. "Santa" read stories and took pictures with the kids, all voluntarily.
"We put our total heart into what we do," said Humphries. "It's always nice to see the young children. We do enjoy what we do. It's something we can give back and you need to give a little this season."
Executive director and full-time volunteer at the USS Orleck Ron Williams praised Humphries and says giving a piece of Lake Charles history right on the Orleck makes giving back a little more merrier.
"This is the time for family," said Williams. "It's the time for Santa and for friends and good memories. 68 years of history that we're standing on and it goes back much further than that."
Humphries says he too appreciates the history.
"People from surrounding communities come out and see this fabulous piece of history," said Humphries. "This is our history. All of us patriots really appreciate everything that was done for this."
Humphries says his next plan is to make a surprise visit at local Walmarts and take a look at the toy department for local kids.