This newspaper has been covering Santa Claus Inc. for years, but this week was the first time I reported on the highly respected children’s charity myself.

It’s impressive. What began as an annual exercise in Christmas giving has become a massive year-round production

Touring the organization’s San Bernardino facility gave an enlightening look into to the giving nature of local businesses and individuals as volunteers worked diligently to sort and pack an enormous bounty of donated cloths, toys, school supplies and more.

Unfortunately, the focal points for this tour were the facility’s numerous damages and repaired damages, each evidencing a time the organization was targeted by destructive thieves in the past few months.

This made the tour lesson in giving and taking.

Based on the techniques used to break into Santa Claus Inc. and the fact that the items stolen usually added up to very little value, these thieves break in not knowing what they’ll get or if they’ll get anything at all. They are just seeking out any opportunity for personal gain by taking from others.

Gladly there are others who actively seek out opportunities to better the lives of others. For years, Santa Claus Inc. has been a center point for uniting those efforts for the children of the Inland Empire.

In July, Santa Claus Inc. became the benefactor of similar benevolence.

When fences were cut and its facility vandalized, Santa Inc. was gifted security cameras. When a trailer was stolen it was given a pickup and a box truck. When the batteries were stolen out of the box truck new batteries were donated.

It was great to see that when Santa Claus Inc. became in need itself people throughout the community came swiftly to its aid.

It reminds me of a discussion I once had about one of my favorite movies, Frank Capra’s Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Some in on the conversation took issue with the so-called fairy-tale ending in which self-sacrificing George Bailey was saved by the immediate, overwhelming and collective generosity of the townspeople.

I argued that I like to think that it could happen because people appreciate and will happily assist kind and giving people.

It was a privilege to see this bore out locally and in real life.

There’s just something about Christmas, even in July.

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