Shippensburg’s Santa Claus delivers gifts to families in need

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Shippensburg woman is going above and beyond this holiday season by delivering gifts to those in need.

Way south of the North Pole, Kathy Hewitt has her own workshop. She’s become known as Shippensburg’s Santa Claus.

“Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year,” Hewitt said with a laugh as she wrapped gifts.

Gifts and lists fill the Hewitt’s living room, but none are for the family.

“Two years ago, I found out about three families that were in pretty heavy need for Christmas, so I put together Christmas stuff for them,” Hewitt said.

She’s been doing it ever since.

“Fifty to sixty families now, after I count all of today’s additions,” she said.

Kathy’s Christmas Project is now a joint effort by families across Cumberland and Franklin counties.

“Through this project, I’m able to join with other people who want to do something but have no idea how to get started,” she said.

One sponsor is 25-year-old Charles Deimler.

“He was so meticulous about detail,” Hewitt said. “He said, ‘could you check with her and find out if they have a particular name brand of clothing they like?’ He just wanted it to be perfect for them – and not wanting to be known.”

But Friday night, Deimler was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Upper Mifflin Township.

“It’s hard, but we’re going to be able to finish out his dream,” Hewitt said.

Three days before Christmas, Hewitt delivered Deimler’s gifts to the family he sponsored.

“He wanted this so badly for you guys that his family wanted to finish it up for you,” she said.

Angela Palmer, a single mother of four getting by in a motel for Christmas, took a look at Deimler’s picture.

“A true blessing, it truly is,” Palmer said. “I wish we could have known him.”

Deimler is Palmer’s very own angel, delivered by Shippensburg’s very own Santa Claus.

Hewitt says her list of families has gotten so long she’s moving her workshop to a bigger space next year, and she’s asking more families to help out.

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