(WXYZ) — He may not have a big red suit or a magic sleigh with reindeer to make something so special happen, but what Kenneth Isaacson, or "Kid Santa" as he's known does have, is perhaps something more special.
He has a firsthand understanding of what a difficult holiday season can feel like for kids, and an inner drive to help others. And that's exactly what he spends his time doing each Christmas.
“I started this in foster care at 17-years-old because I didn’t want to be by myself on Christmas morning," he said.
Isaacson took his paychecks from his part-time job and went to the Dollar General to guy presents, which he hand-delivered to kids at a local homeless shelter. Four years later, he's taking his mission around the sate.
For the first time, Isaacson took his "Kid Santa" operation from metro Detroit to Grand Rapids and even up north, making more than two dozens stops along the way.
“We had gifts delivered across the Mackinaw Bridge," he said while out delivering presents on the west side of the state.
We caught with Isaacson before he hit the road Christmas Eve. He said it was the challenge that drove him to take his tradition around the state.
He and a few other volunteers rented a U-Haul truck, packed tight with toys and goodies for the boys and girls who may not have as much under their tree this year.
All told the presents were around $20,000, which Isaacson raised himself or received through donations. Earlier this year, he depleted his holiday fund to help kids in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights impacted by this summer's catastrophic flooding.
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“The City of Dearborn Heights donated the toys they didn’t use back to us," he told 7 Action News. "So that was really nice.”
Isaacson said his good deeds are sparking help from around the community too; people stopping him, even offering to the donate on the spot.
"I want to just spread that around. If this little guy right here is doing all of this, what am I capable of?” he said.
Click here to support Isaacson's annual efforts and to learn more about Kid Santa.