NewsHillsborough County


Tampa General's 'Santa Claus' provides hundreds of Christmas presents for foster kids

Collins has spearheaded the program for 30 years
Posted at 7:26 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 19:26:07-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- For the 30th year in a row, Tampa General Hospital fills the wishlists of hundreds of foster children in Hillsborough County. But they couldn’t do it without their own special "Santa Claus," Delwyn Collins.

“Every kid needs Christmas in their life,” said Delwyn Collins, a kitchen assistant at Tampa General Hospital.

And for the last 30 years, Delwyn has used a good portion of his paycheck from Tampa General Hospital to fulfill wishes of hundreds of foster children.

“I’m giving something I already got,” said Collins.

Delwyn is legally blind but he doesn’t let that or recent health problems stop him from continuing to spearhead the program.

“He wraps gifts, all night; he rides his bike to stores to purchase gifts,” said Stephanie MacNeel, Executive Director of Foster Angels.

He even picks up side jobs to help ensure every foster child has a gift under the tree.

“If I have to help somebody move, I’ll pick up trash around their place and everything,” said Collins.

Of the 2,000 foster children in Hillsborough County, Tampa General fulfills nearly 800 of their Christmas lists.

“Probably out of the 800, at least 150, 200 are probably coming out of his pocket.”

And the gifts aren’t small ones.

“We have people ask for laptops, we have children ask for basketball hoops, I mean, they’re getting what they ask for.”

All thanks to Tampa General’s very own "Santa Claus," Delwyn Collins who says, “It’s not about what you do, how much money you make, it’s out of your heart.”