Published in our 2017 Annual Report.
For over ten years, the Happy Santas have brought holiday cheer to Catholic Charities’ Padua House program. Perched atop the Drago’s Seafood Restaurant fire truck with sirens blazing and in a L’Auberge limousine filled with Santa bags, they arrive escorted by Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s deputies, ready to fulfill Christmas wish lists for Padua residents and clients.
The Happy Santas come together each year, dressed in full Santa costumes and armed with sacks of gifts for Padua Community Services residents and clients. Each receives a bag full of gifts customized to their special needs. The Santas also bring tokens of thanks for the staff who provide loving care and help make Padua a special place.
In addition to traditional presents, the Happy Santas left a lasting gift to Padua House this year. Construction is underway on a remodeled bathroom, complete with new plumbing, cabinets and custom bathing tables. In prior years, they have built a deck and walkway, allowing the residents to enjoy outside activity and fresh air.
CCANO’s Padua Community Services provides a broad scope of services around the New Orleans area including specialized care for children and adults with disabilities. Padua also offers housing and care for the intellectually and developmentally disabled ages birth to 35 who are medically fragile.
A Season for Cheer
“Our visit to Padua House is the most anticipated event of the year,” said David Blitch, founder of Happy Santas. “We look forward to bringing Christmas cheer to Padua residents and clients to ensure they have a joyous holiday.”
“Everyone looks forward to this fun and heartwarming gesture of love each year,” said Sr. Marjorie Hebert, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. “We are grateful to the Happy Santas for the happiness and hope they bring to Padua’s clients and residents.”