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During the week of Thanksgiving 1991, I let my beard grow out, it came in white this time and the next Christmas season , I heard the call (from God) and became Santa Claus, a calling I take very seriously. I am Santa to hundreds of people each year wherever I go.
On July 29,2006, I returned from a nine day visit to Ukraine to meet 300+ children to whom "I am Santa". Last Christmas I sent $300 to a charitable organization who tries to give a life to these children, i.e. some abandoned, some from broken homes, some are orphans and others who live in poverty. The only present each child received at Christmas 2005 came from those monies I sent. They received a small gift and a bag of candy. I fell in love with these beautiful children and they with me. They are lead by Father Ivan Vichor of St. Tekla Church in Brody, Ukraine.
I have had a huge impact on their lives and they on mine. They need my (our) help. For example, Ben and Olena and their twin daughters live in two rooms plus a small kitchen, have no hot water, except what is heated on the stove, and use a two door outhouse in the backyard for a bathroom. Due to a six-day, two-mile walk to work, Ben has never seen his talented girls sing and dance in a performance. They danced and sang the first night I was there. I bought him the best (red) bike in a bike store to ride back and forth to work so he can get home earlier to see his daughters perform. I have been informed that he loves his bike (the first bike he has ever had).
Musical performances and a Mass were held in my honor and only because I (Santa) was there. All the children had to walk from their homes to the functions. One small boy walked four miles to sing and dance for his Santa and then walk home. No bikes - No cars, they just walk no matter how far it may be.
There is a "Fund to Aid Ukraine, Inc." (IRS # 34-1684139) through which monies can be sent to help these children. One dollar U.S. becomes five Ukrainian dollars. The organization in Ukraine that I support is staffed by volunteers who take no salary. A retired police officer will drive the bus.
I have an account at Huntington Bank under "William R. Dick, Trust Account", where donations to Santa’s Ukrainian Children's Fund are saved until they are sent to Ukraine via the "Fund to Aid Ukraine, Inc." in Parma, Ohio.
What follows is the beginning and the end of my 2006 European adventure. You will see Austria and Germany through my eyes during a 2006 concert tour with the Youngstown/Cleveland Blaskapelle and Dance Group, the 21-hour bus trip to Ukraine border and my journey back to Ohio.
The story of my 2006 visit with the children of Ukraine, how my mission work to them has grown, and my 2008 return visit to Ukraine can be found in my book which can be ordered by clicking on the "Chapters 20-55" link below.