Bradenton woman takes on the role as Mrs. Claus for Suncoast Kids

Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 4:19 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Brigette Green has turned her Bradenton home into Santa’s secret workshop on the Suncoast. Green is asking the community for donations of toys, bikes, and anything they have to offer. Collecting all the toys takes some time with Green starting before Thanksgiving and accepting donations up until Dec. 14, this year. This year, Green is helping 100 Suncoast kids get presents on Christmas. Each child receives three toys, a pair of socks, and the opportunity to meet Santa on Dec. 17 at Barbeque With Santa, at Greens house.

“A lot of these kids live in hotels, their parents can’t even afford rent right now because prices are so high, and a lot of these kids and their parents have just struggled through the years,” said Green. “At Barbeque with Santa, it’s really an amazing thing. You see parents cry because they need help.”

Green started on this mission nine years ago helping a co-worker take care of her grandkids. Green said the co-worker couldn’t afford to get the kids presents so, she decided to help. The community stepped up and according to Green, those two kids received a whole truck full of toys.

“I said, well if I can do that, then I can do more!” said Green. “Now we’re at 100 kids a year.”

Green said she’s facing higher expenses this year with prices for everything almost doubling. A portable bathroom used to cost her $200, but now she’s paying $400 for it to be at the barbeque. For the past five years, Edward and Lynne Hutcheson have been a much-needed helping hand for Green. The Hutchesons live at The Grove elderly community in Bradenton. Edward Hutcheson said The Grove community has its own toy drive there with all of the donations going to Green for BBQ With Santa

“We’re very blessed to be a part of that and this community is a huge supporter of it,” said Hutcheson.

With the help of The Grove community, Green no longer has to worry about the increased costs and knows they’ll be able to serve all 100 kids needing help. According to Hutcheson, this year is probably the largest number of donations they’ve received.

For more information on where to donate toys or how to be a part of the event, visit Bridget Greens Facebook page, here.