Christmas came early this year for the man who is known for gift-giving.

You probably read or heard about, Dale Buxcel, better known as the man who for the last 21 years has served as Santa Claus at the Empire Mall here in Sioux Falls. Buxcel lost his Murdo, South Dakota home in a tragic house fire on Friday morning, (November 10).

It's truly a heartbreaking story, as our Sioux Falls Santa lost everything he owned in the fire on the very same day he started his residency this year at the Empire Mall.

Now everyone knows that Santa has thousands of helpers all over the world, right? After the news broke that Santa had lost his home in a fire, a number of his helpers here in South Dakota went to work. KDLT News is reporting that area firefighters with the help of Step Up For Heroes and the Sioux Falls Firefighters Benevolent Foundation, were able to purchase numerous gifts that were wrapped by the elves at Unglued Sioux Falls, and then delivered to Jolly Old Saint Nick himself at his temporary home here in Sioux Falls.

“Grateful” is the only word Santa could come up with after receiving his pre-Christmas surprise. According to KDLT News, firefighters also received a huge boost knowing they helped lift Santa’s spirits, by spreading a little holiday cheer to the man who specializes in cheer, year after year. 

Sioux Falls firefighter Russell Wentz told KDLT News, “One of the biggest things is the fact that he lost his home in a fire. As firefighters, it kind of had a connection with us, and then just Santa Claus, we really support the season and the holidays and making sure we’re helping people.”

The firefighting community here in the Sioux Empire weren't the only firefighters in the state to step forward and help Santa out. Immediately after Santa lost his Murdo home, the Murdo Volunteer Fire Department set up a GoFundMe page. In just over 10 days, people from all over, have opened up their hearts and wallets to make cash donations totaling over $18,000!

The goal is to try and raise 100K, so as you can see, there's still a lot of giving to be done.

If you would like to send a little holiday cheer in the direction of Santa this year, you can make a cash donation here.

A special thank you to everyone who has donated so far, and a tip of Santa's hat to the firefighters with the Murdo Volunteer Fire Department, along with the Step Up For Heroes program, and the Sioux Falls Firefighters Benevolent Foundation. Your kind hearted giving is what the Christmas season is all about!

Source: KDLT TV

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