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Metro Detroit's 'Kid Santa' surpasses gift-giving goal with celebrity support

Posted at 10:17 AM, Dec 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-27 20:33:03-05

(WXYZ) — A Dearborn Heights man had been working hard to make sure children in metro Detroit have an amazing Christmas morning.

RELATED: Metro Detroit teen known as 'Kid Santa' accepting donations for families impacted by the pandemic

He’s been using his own money and collected donations to buy toys. After making an appearance on national television, he got a big boost, quadrupling his fundraising goal!

Kenneth Isaacson likes to be referred to as "Kid Santa."

Isaacson made an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan a few days before Christmas. The segment was posted on the show’s Instagram account.

“We would like to give you $3,000 with helping with the kids and being Kid Santa," said Ryan Seacrest.

Kelly Ripa was so moved by Kid Santa, she donated $10,000 of her own money, half meant for toys, the other half to Isaacson.

Kid Santa was born in Russia and brought to the U.S. as an orphan.

In 2018, he wanted to make a difference for kids at a homeless shelter after spending Christmas morning with others who are less fortunate.

Isaacson works as an EMT and uses money from his paycheck and money he gets from donating plasma to buy toys.

His goal this year was to buy presents for 500 kids. He surpassed that and helped about 600 children.

“Clearly, well over 200 entire houses in four different counties,” he said.

He had a GoFundMe page to raise $5,000 but after appearing on the talk show, he raised more than $22,000. That boost gave him a last minute shopping spree before the holiday.

“We took a school bus to Target here in Livonia and it took 15 volunteers and we filled up 16 or 17 shopping carts,” Isaacson said.

Most of the $5,000 from Ripa that was meant for Kenneth’s personal use was donated to a family facing eviction.

Because so much money was raised after the appearance, Isaacson will have $18,000 to spend for the next holiday season.