Santa visits Presque Isle shelter for homeless on Christmas Eve

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On Christmas Eve morning, Santa Claus made a surprise visit to the Aroostook Homeless Services Shelter in order to deliver presents to the children at the shelter.  

Each year a traditional holiday party has been held for the children at the shelter by the employees of Aroostook Regional Transportation System in collaboration with the Student Nurses’ Organization from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. This year, COVID-19 restrictions prevented a party, but the two groups sponsored an event on the shelter’s back deck. 

When Santa heard about the their plans to go ahead with small gift presentation at the shelter, he offered to make a special fly-in to visit with the children.   

Employees of ARTS and the student nurses received so many donated toys, Christmas stockings filled with gifts, backpacks, blankets, personal hygiene items and more from community businesses and friends that a bus was needed to haul the donations to the Sister Mary O’Donnell Emergency Homeless Shelter on Christmas Eve.  

The children were excited to see and talk with Santa.  Shelter staff were pleased with the many donations of personal hygiene items and paper products that are used each day at the facility.  They thanked the volunteers representing the two organizations for the gifts and support given the children and other residents of the shelter.  

After making this delivery, Santa thanked Shawna Page and Nicole Caddell, student nurses at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Chrissy Skidgel, student nurse at the University of Maine at Orono, along with Holly Vining, ARTS finance manager, and Robert Rossignol, mechanic, who drove the bus with Santa and the volunteers to the shelter.  

Santa wished everyone a Merry Christmas and disappeared quickly to get ready for Christmas night.

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