For Santa's Helpers, Christmas Comes Twice a Year

Christmas in December

Our Christmas in December includes multiple deliveries to shelters and programs throughout the holiday season. Then, on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we personally deliver gifts to families' homes. Additionally, for families that celebrate Hanukkah, we deliver all eight gifts to parents the day before the holiday starts.

Christmas in July

Who says Christmas comes only once per year? During the month of July, we make special visits to families in need. With our Santa in tow, we make deliveries to Gateway 180 and The Women's Safe House, serving over 50 families. In addition to toys, each child is able to pick out clothes and shoes of their choice.

Our Process

The Story of Christmas

While many are relaxing and enjoying post-Christmas bliss on the 26th, Santa's Helpers springs into action. We immediately go back to work for the next year.


Preparing the Perfect Gifts

Rita Swiener and her “helpers” find the newest toys at the lowest prices. After scouting out the perfect gifts, our volunteers go to work. They examine each gift carefully - removing price tag stickers, wrapping the gifts, organizing them, and then storing them in our warehouse until needed.


Finding Families in Need

As our events approach, various agencies begin sending referrals and stories of families in need. All of the families served live below the poverty line and have nowhere else to turn. Santa's Helpers carefully handpicks the best gifts for each family.


Delivering Joy Door-to-Door

Our Santas and their elves begin their deliveries at homeless shelters, transitional housing centers, and after school programs. Then, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we visit hundreds of individual homes to personally hand out gifts to the eager children and their families.

One year ends, and we start all over again with smiles on our faces from all the amazing families we were able to serve.

48 Years of Giving

We began in 1968 when our founder, Rita Swiener, heard from a professor about a family that had fallen through the cracks of social support and would not be helped over Christmas. Knowing the importance of Christmas gift-giving, Rita and a few friends sprang into action and provided presents for every single member of the family. Since that day, Santa's Helpers has provided the spirit of Santa to thousands of St. Louis families over the years.