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Real-Life Santa Spends £3,400 In Toy Shop And Donates Haul To Kids In Need

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Real-Life Santa Spends £3,400 In Toy Shop And Donates Haul To Kids In Need

A man became something of a real-life Santa after he walked into a toy shop in Leeds and spent more than £3,000 on presents for kids in need.

Single dad Reese Fletcher, 29, decided upon the act of goodwill after watching a video from addiction charity Forward Leeds.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

He wanted to help children not as fortunate as his two daughters Lola, nine, and Isla, seven, by buying nine trollies' worth of toys for charity.

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Fletcher, who runs a fencing and decking business, managed to raise £3,400 ($4,496) in just 10 days by selling 260 wooden Christmas trees made from piles of leftover wood.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

After selling the trees, he then went to Smyth's toy shop and used the money to buy the haul of gifts.

Fletchersaid: "It was like a spur of the moment thing.

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"I watched this video a mate of mine put up to do with this charity that was helping get kids presents.

"I thought I would donate £50. Then that night I saw all this wood lying in my garden left over from my business.

"I came up with the idea to make Christmas trees out of it and sell them for £10 each.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS
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"They were just little wooden trees and I aimed to sell 100 of them to begin with, but they went almost as soon as I put a post up on my business Facebook page.

"I went up to 150 and they went as well. I ended up selling 260 of them."

Fletcher said he was able to make eight at a time by cutting the trees out of a template, which took 15 minutes.

He continued: "It was me, two lads who work for me and a couple of mates helped out. It was flat out in the evenings for 10 days after I posted on my page.

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"We were selling them for £10 each and some people paid more like £20. The orders kept coming in and it went crazy. It was absolutely mental.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

"I tried to only share the post in the local area, but I ended up delivering some in my van ten miles away. Most were within a five mile radius of my home."

Fletcher said he wanted to 'do something good for the kids that could go without gifts' at Christmas, taking the money to Smyths for a 'mad shopping trip' before leaving the presents outside Malcolm Michaels Butchers in Kirkgate Market, where donations are being collected.

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"We tried to cover each age range for girls and boys," he said.

"We bought scooters, bikes, remote control cars, drones, dolls and filled nine trolleys.

"The shop gave us a 10% discount so we went back in and spent that discount on more.

"We were in there for three hours. It was harder work than you might think.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

"Then we put all the gifts in the box outside Malcom's Butchers in Leeds Market. I haven't spoken to the charity much because they've flat out this time of year."

Thanking everyone who had bought the trees, Fletcher said he still felt 'blown away', adding: "I have a lot of good feedback from people. I'm still blown away. It's mental.

"I have been a bit of a s*** in the past and have got back on track in the last 10 years. It's great to give something good back.

"Christmas needs to be a happy time. It'll make Christmas a bit better for these kids in what's been a s*** year for everyone."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Malcolm Leary, of Malcolm Michaels Butchers, has asked people to leave toys outside the shop so that they can be donated to families being supported by the city's drug and alcohol service.

He said: "It's been a tough year for lots of people and I wanted to do something to help those who are trying to help themselves.

"Alcohol and drug problems can affect anyone. This year in particular we all know people who've been struggling mentally and who might be drinking more to cope.

"As a parent I know that Christmas can be tough financially. We just want to help those parents who are trying hard get themselves to a better place with a little extra something for their kids this Christmas."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Christmas, UK News, News

Jess Hardiman
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