Southeastern PA

St. Nick a good pal to PAL kids

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - It's a busy time for the big guy.

"Very busy," said Santa Claus, as he arrived at the Pottstown Area Police Athletic League office.

So, when your job involves delivering gifts to 22 million kids worldwide, it always helps to get a head start.

"It's always good to come out early and get some of those things on people's lists that they forget to put in their letter," Santa said.

What do these youth football players in Pottstown need?

"Equipment gets wear and tear and to make sure the safety of the equipment, the integrity is there. Equipment is needed desperately," said Steve Luther, of Pottstown Area Police Athletic League.

St. Nick's Holiday Mission  is a national organization, with sponsorship from Victory Sports Global Outreach, The Salvation Army and various other groups.

For the first time, the Pottstown Area Police Athletic League ended up on their list.

"It was wonderful. Especially, this time of year, it's always a little slow. Donations don't always roll in like you'd like them to," explained Abigail Heisler, Executive Director of Pottstown Area Police Athletic League.

This event is made all the more important as the organization depends on, among other things, donations from the community, to keep it going.

"We have to fundraise. We work off grants and in-kind donations, so it's wonderful to have that support from the community," said Heisler.

The organization's equipment manager, also named Nick, sure appreciates it."I think this was a good thing for the organization. It needed it," said equipment manager Nickolous Hartman.

The donated items are footballs, helmets and shoulder pads. The items are donated from families around the country that want to pay it forward.

Luther knows the kids appreciate the donations.

"(It's) kids’ first time putting on the equipment and tackling for the first time. A parent came back and said a kid slept in the equipment," he said.

An early delivery from Santa is great, but so is kids across the country learning to help each other.

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