‘Sandy Claus’ delivers presents to children affected by storm

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News

While most of us have to wait until Christmas Eve to receive a visit from Jolly Ol' Saint Nick, children affected by Superstorm Sandy are spying him early.

Michael Sciaraffo, 31, a Brooklyn-based political consultant, is dressing up as Santa Claus and delivering toys to kids in storm-ravaged areas.

Following the storm, Sciaraffo launched a donation outreach effort on Facebook in which he collected food and clothing for those who lost everything. As Christmas approached, he asked for toys. Soon, his "Secret Sandy Claus Project" was born.

"When I was a kid, my toys were very important to me," Sciaraffo told the Associated Press. "That's their security blanket, so to speak. I couldn't sit home and do nothing."

Sciaraffo uses a spreadsheet to keep track of kids' wish lists and the toy donations that are arriving by the truckload from all over the country, making sure that Santa gives each child what he/she wants this holiday season.

"The goal was to match up each child with a toy that they liked or asked Santa for, for Christmas," he explained. "We basically tried to pair them up with toys I had in stock."

He hopes to deliver gifts to around 1,000 children before Christmas.

"Between the requests coming in for personal visits as well as the influx of donations, it's been a full time job," Sciaraffo told the Associated Press. "And kudos to Santa, because I don't know how he pulls it off every year."