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‘Happy Wheels’ gives back to children in hospitals around SC

Santa Claus doesn’t only come once a year for kids in children’s hospitals all around South...
Santa Claus doesn’t only come once a year for kids in children’s hospitals all around South Carolina. He comes every single week.(WIS)
Published: Dec. 25, 2021 at 6:38 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 1, 2022 at 8:14 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Santa Claus doesn’t only come once a year for kids in children’s hospitals all around South Carolina.

He comes every single week. With ‘Happy Wheels.’

Tracey Rankin, the executive director of Happy Wheels, explained exactly what they do for the children.

“We go room to room with the cart, we knock on the door and the kids get to pick their one favorite item off the cart and they get to keep it and take it home with them,” said Rankin.

All the toys are brand new. Rankin also says that it depends on donations from people in the community.

The purpose of Happy Wheels? To keep little faces smiling all year round.

“Really the privilege is ours, it’s the best job on the planet,” said Rankin. “I mean, who wouldn’t love visiting kids and handing out brand new toys and books? It feels like Santa Claus every single day of the year.”

Hospitals can be a scary place for kids but toys tend to make their stay a little easier.

“The best thing for us is telling them why we’re there, and then when we step aside and they see the cart behind us, the change in their face is constantly our favorite moment,” Rankin said.

Volunteers visit children’s hospitals in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston every week.

They reach kids from every corner of the state.

“And the kids know what day is happy wheels day,” said Rankin. “And they will ask about it and they’ll ask their parents and some of them will wait in their doorways when they know we’re on the hall.”

Donations are not only accepted around Christmas time. They are accepted at any time.

The giving never stops.

To learn more about Happy Wheels and how you can help put smiles on kids’ faces, visit their website.

Copyright 2021 WIS. All rights reserved.

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