With December underway Christmas is right around the corner, that means so many will be giving and receiving. This month's Newschannel 6 Community Service Champion nominee is no exception. His giving during the holidays goes up, but his heart year round is what makes him a man many look up to as a champion.
Our Community Service Champion is a man who uses his uncanny resemblance to a certain man from the North Pole to make a difference for kids, and really anyone he can.
Doug Green is as close to the "REAL" Santa as one might be able to get.
"We're really nothing special," said Green. "We're just here trying to help."
Doug and his wife Glenda spend their holidays making a difference in the lives of as many people as they can. Doug is a "helper" of Santa. He uses his remarkable Santa looks to make a difference for so many children. He's always looking to make a difference in as many lives as he can touch.
"We have very few days that aren't from early morning until late evening," Green said. "We do as many as we possibly can because every child wants a toy and I've found no child that wasn't worth it."
Just before Thanksgiving, Doug was booked for more than 50 Santa appearances in the next month. While he gives candy canes to everyone who sits on his lap, his real gratification comes from paying it all forward.
"All the money that he makes for these bookings he turns around and he buys Christmas gifts for these kids in the home," said longtime friend Ladonna Lagat.
The kids home, that Ladonna is taking about, is the Children's Aid Society. It has a special place in Doug Green's heart. He tries to make these kids from abusive or drug homes feel better about the, as he said, terrifying situation they are in.
"They have no idea where they are going, or what's going to happen to them," said Green. "That's a very terrifying experience for them. So we try and gather toys even year round."
But it's not just toys for these kids.
"He has made a huge impact to the shelter not just during Christmas but year round," said Sheila Choate.
Choate is the Executive Director at the Children's Aid Society. The non-profit built a gym a few years ago and ran into a snag. As soon as Doug Green heard about it he jumped into action.
"He not only steered the engineering team that helped volunteer, but he saved us thousands of dollars in labor time just with the volunteers he pulled together to help our agency," said Choate.
Long time friend Frank Lagat told us that Green is indeed a year round community servant. He cooks for various fund raisers to help families who need to raise money for ill family members or friends. But, it's Christmas time that fills his heart as he watches the faces of those who he gets to touch as Saint Nick. And, it's not just the kids.
"We probably have at least a third, when we do United and stuff like that will be adults as much as kids and for a moment we all get to step back in time and be a child and that's pretty cool," said Green.
When asked why he does this, his answer is a simple one and as genuine as the man himself.
"We enjoy helping people. We enjoy the life and we owe. The good Lord took good care of us, and he blessed us in everything we do. So, we try and pay back," Gree told us.
BeGreenSanta for the last 20-plus years, Green has given out more than 300,000 candy canes to those who have sat in his lap. He feeds as many airmen and soldiers as he can during the holidays. That came from when he was in the Navy. He was stuck on a ship during the holidays. All they had to eat was bologna. After that he said he would do all he could to make sure no soldiers had to eat like that while they served to protect our freedom.
Chris Horgen, Newschannel 6