MANTECA (CBS13) — A community comes together to help save a holiday tradition. Santa’s holiday home away from the North Pole was falling apart after several years.
Retiree Ben Jetton has put in a lot of weekend labor to help build a new one from the ground up. Fortunately, Jetton has had the help of several volunteers and donors to construct the new house before the Dec. 6 Manteca Christmas parade.READ MORE: Sacramento Homeowner Fatally Shoots Attempted Burglary Suspect
In the back of Vern’s Towing Company, the volunteers work on Santa’s hut. An Eagle Scout comes every weekend, a Modesto labor union has installed the electricity, Elite Roofing provided the roof, and several other businesses and volunteers donated material and labor. The last $1,200 needed to complete the house was donated by the police chief’s foundation.
“Knowing that children and Christmas kind of go hand in hand, we thought it was kind of important to step up and help,” said Chief Nick Obligacion, whose foundation’s objective is to help children in the community.READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues: 'There Really Are Problems Everywhere,' Even For Small Companies
After the parade, more than 800 children each year visit Santa at his temporary residence at the corner of Yosemite and Main Streets. This year, the new house is not only bigger, it is also more accessible.
“Santa had a dream. He wanted it to be ADA accessible,” said Jetton.MORE NEWS: Modesto Man, 46, Killed In Chaotic Ceres Crash
Santa’s building helpers will soon add a wheelchair ramp and railings. Carpeting and lights will be installed this weekend. Jetton said the house won’t be completely finished until after the holidays, but it will be safe and decorated by the parade kickoff.