HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - One man is using the holidays to shine a light of hope on his community.
Rev. William Gause has become the Racepath area's very own Santa Claus over the years, giving back to his community in the hopes that it may have an impact on today's youth.
"God has assigned me to this task," Gause said. "I've got a charge to keep and a God to glorify."
While unloading gifts two days before Christmas, Gause took the time to preach a sermon to a young man about the history of Racepath and the importance of serving others.
"You've got to tell them how to learn and love and get along with one another," he said.
Gause has lived in Racepath his entire life and remembers crime controlling his streets, and having no running water or heat as a child.
"I would look up to the heavens and ask God to send us some help for Racepath. I never did dream that I was going to be the one that he placed in (for the) position," Gause said.
The reverend is the president of Phoenix Renaissance, a non-profit that provides after-school programs and events for the youth. He said while they may be small, it doesn't stop them from making an impact.
"We don't have a huge community center. We don't have computers lined up from top to bottom. We don't have all of this fancy stuff. But we have a lot of love, a lot of patience and we are happy for it," Gause said. "Yes, we want something better. We want something bigger. But we're going to use what we got until we can't use it anymore."
Gause and several church members from across the county will spend the days up until Christmas gathering food and gifts to deliver to families in need. He said he hopes his efforts will help reshape his community for the better.
"We just want to provide a service for these kids," Gause said. "You're talking about drugs and crime. But if you can get to these young people ... the Bible says treat a child while he's young and when he's old he will not depart from it."