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White Springs McDonald's Hosts Santa and HOPE Kids

McDonald's General Manager Sharon Mize, McDonald's Manager Beth Hakke, Santa, with a special thank you to WSVFD Firefighter Thomas Brazil, and HOPE President Helen Miller. -Photo: Submitted

Submitted by Helen Miller

Local residents from the tri-county area and travelers on I-75 were treated to special holiday cheer on the Monday of Christmas Week at McDonald's Restaurant #11912, in White Springs.  Santa arrived in his red WSVFD "sleigh" to hear last-minute requests and give Happy Meals to HOPE kids, courtesy of McDonald's General Manager Sharon Mize, along with Christmas stockings courtesy of Project HOPE.

McDonald's had invited Project HOPE in White Springs to partner in the Happy Meal gifting.  Project HOPE, in turn, decided to add to the spirit of the season by gifting Christmas stockings filled with candy canes, Christmas pencils, toys, and of course, Florida oranges.  HOPE also sponsored additional Happy Meals so all kids enjoyed Lunch with Santa.

Santa's presence added fun and excitement as traveling families enjoyed lunch, and joined in on their unexpected time with Santa and his helpers who distributed candy canes and Florida oranges.

One Mother of 5, on the way to Miami from Georgia with her husband, said they "would remember their stop at McDonald's as the best part of this year's Christmas."

Based on the success of Santa's visit, Mize says she is already planning an Easter event with Project HOPE to support family time and togetherness at her restaurant.

Project HOPE, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is charitable and educational outreach.