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Helping Hands – Santa’s Helpers

During the holidays, a Fredericksburg couple goes above and beyond to ensure Christmas is a joyful time for their children in the community. Michelle Donnelly and her husband Mike Donnelly have filled a 20-foot U-Haul with thousands of toys that they have collected over the last year.

It’s a labor of love for the Fredericksburg couple who voluntarily donate toys to Toys for Tots every year. “We don’t have kids so this is even better for us,” Michelle said. “It wasn’t until 2016 we received a blessing and we were able to give back.” They are now forming a nonprofit organization called Santa’s Helpers, more than six years after they first started.

“Usually box stores will overstock for Christmas, and then once Christmas is over, they start to discount their stuff and in January we go out,” Michelle said. “A lot of our friends and family, if they are out and about and they see a deal, they call us and we have a good system.”

In appreciation of the Donnelly’s tireless work, Joel Bassam of Easterns Automotive joined with a special surprise. “We were blown away by the way that you are helping spread holiday cheer with Santa’s Helpers. We want to donate $2,000 so that you can keep collecting those toys for the community,” Bassam said.

They were overwhelmed with joy at the donation they received from Easterns. “I can’t even tell you what we can do with $2,000,” Michelle said. “It’s amazing. This can fill up one-half of the room because we are very smart about our shopping. I’m floored.”