A Santa for All Seasons

Our Santa bringing another load of goodies to Ms. Kenya

Technically, it’s still summer, but that doesn’t stop Santa from visiting the Frazer Center. In fact, he’s becoming a year-round guest thanks to Frazer’s ongoing relationship with the Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis Club of Atlanta is the oldest chapter in Georgia and is truly a local treasure. With the motto of “Learn, Serve, Connect,” Kiwanians have the opportunity to learn about and volunteer with nonprofits in Georgia. Thanks to this mission, Frazer has been the beneficiary of a gift in the form of one very special Kiwanian: George Wieder.

George is a friend to many nonprofits. One thing in particular that he loves to do is create themed gift baskets as auction items for fundraisers. When a fellow Kiwanian who happened to be the auctioneer at Frazer’s annual fundraiser asked George if he wanted to donate some baskets for the cause, he jumped right on it. But George didn’t just drop off items. He wanted to know more about what Frazer does. “The creativity that I saw here [at Frazer] from the very first visit” has kept him coming back. “The staff, everybody is excited and happy.”

Ms. Kedra got first dibs on the stuffed rhinoceros for her class.

George has another favorite pastime. He plays Santa Claus during the winter season. He loves seeing kids light up when Santa walks in the room. But that Santa spirit isn’t just an act. George has the joy-filled giving heart of Santa, and that’s what motivates him to scour the city for items that might be of use to the nonprofits he connects with. He is a master bargain hunter. He knows what stores to hit on which day of the week to get everything half off, or everything for a quarter. When he lands on a 90% off sale—jackpot! His basement is filled with goodies he has found at these basement prices. “My wife says I shop every day. Sometimes I do,” he admits. “You get addicted to finding these things. But when you have these purposes—that’s why I love Frazer Center. It gives me a purpose.”

Meshelle is excited to see the new art supplies and puzzles that George brought.

The happiness and excitement of the Frazer staff that George noticed on his first visit is now multiplied whenever he stops by. Our Santa continues to bring in-kind donations for both our adult and children’s programs. He manages to find quality books, toys, games, puzzles, coloring books, art supplies, and stuffed animals that the staff loves to “fight” over. He is constantly driving around the metro area, filling up his SUV with treasures. “You see the good that it goes to. And it keeps me off the streets. Or ON the streets,” he jokes.

George spent twenty-one years in the Air Force and fifteen years in the cellular phone industry before a colleague invited him to his first Kiwanis meeting. “I loved it!” he says. “I wish I had started years ago.” Some of his biggest heroes are the Kiwanians who have been members for 50-60 years. But in a short time, George has become one of our biggest heroes. He’s our Santa for All Seasons.

Thanks to a grant from the Kiwanis Foundation of Atlanta, Frazer Center was able to leverage proceeds from our annual fundraiser to purchase adaptive playground equipment and toys. Kiwanis Club of Atlanta is celebrating its 100th anniversary. If you’d like to learn more about Kiwanis, click here.

George visiting the playground and meeting some teachers

Michael and George talking theatre. Michael is working on a script, and George once played the Jimmy Stewart role in a production of “Harvey.”

Thank you, Santa George!