Wake Forest athletes help spread cheer through the Santa’s Helpers program

For nearly three decades, Wake Forest athletes have helped spread cheer through the Santa’s Helpers program:

It all started back in 1986. That’s when WFU football player Chip Rives first saw a Parade magazine article about a holiday toy-giving program in Texas that provided Christmas presents to children in the surrounding community. If it can work at Texas, he thought, why couldn’t it work at Wake Forest? Though the football team connection remains strong, writes Bill Cissna, the 100 Wake volunteers involved nowadays come from many sports teams and often include coaches and coaches’ spouses. Past student-athlete volunteers have included Tim Duncan, Joe Zelenka, and Chris Paul. The Santa’s Helpers program raises about $18,000 annually, and nearly all of the proceeds go toward buying toys.

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