You could say that Ed Higinbotham is the honorary Santa Claus of Fayette County in Pennsylvania.
But this Santa is a 93-year-old World War II veteran who works on wood-based toys that he gives to children every Christmas.
“He’s full of energy,” Trooper Robert Broadwater of PSB Troop B in Fayette County told “GMA.”
Broadwater and the Pennsylvania State Police have worked with Higinbotham over the past three years to deliver his toys to schools in the area.
Children in Fayette County have been gifted with everything from wooden trucks to tractors, courtesy of Higinbotham.
“It’s just a good opportunity to meet someone like him,” Broadwater shared. “With everything we face on a daily basis, it’s great to know that there’s good people out there.”
More than 3,000 of the veteran’s own creations have been donated to children ever since he started working with the state police.
This holiday season, he donated more than 300 toys to kids in the district.
Students at the Head Start program of Fayette County were so surprised when they received a delivery of Higinbotham's handcrafted toys.
“They were all excited,” Carissa Basinger, an instructor at Mill Run Head Start program, told “GMA.”
“Not a lot of our families can afford things like [wooden toys] because it’s kinda pricey, and going into a lot of the homes, they don’t really have too many things to play with, so it was very cool,” she said.
Some of the kids started playing with the trucks around the classroom and others couldn’t wait to paint them different colors.
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Many of the students had never seen wooden toys before, so they were fascinated to learn how Higinbotham created them.
“I wish I could see that man and give him a big hug, because I totally would!” Basinger said.
Higinbotham starts creating hundreds of pieces from scratch at his home during the summer.
A sign that reads “Ed’s Woodworks” hangs above his toy workshop, where piles of wood pieces and toys can be found.
“He’s always been a master of all trades,” Higinbotham’s wife, Winona, told “GMA.” “He can do anything and fix anything.”
Winona said she takes pride in the fact that her husband works on what he loves.
“At 93 years old, I’m just glad he’s still building something!” she said.