Yes, there is a Santa Claus

Published 12:42 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

A long time ago a beautiful response was written to a young girl named Virginia when she asked, “Is there really a Santa Claus?”     

Yes, there is a Santa Claus. At Christmas time when you witness a bell ringer wearing a Santa suit, he may not actually be Santa, but he represents the meaning of Christmas and the gift of giving, just as Santa does.     

I wish to thank all my readers for the wonderful, positive response I’ve received for my tale, “The Colaberator.”  Many thought that he was real and wished to know about his welfare. Others thought there was a specific dog and family that inspired the tale. Well, I’m here to express that you were correct in your assumptions.       

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Yes, dear readers, there is a Cola. 

When you hear of a family breaking up and no one will take the dog, he is Cola. When a family decides to move and the dog is left behind, he is Cola. When a family member passes away and their dog is not wanted, he is Cola. All the abandoned, the strays, the sick who cannot or will not be cared for because of financial reasons, all are Cola.      

When you visit a shelter or a rescue and look upon the confused and hopeful faces of these magnificent animals, in them beats the heart of Cola.     

Cola was not made up; he most certainly exists. I know, because I see him each and every day. My fervent prayer is that I can make enough people believe in him so that there will be fewer of him and more of us.     

Each year at this time I make the same plea. Give to your favorite charities, they are all worthy. If there is any left over, please do not forget my kids and help me give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. Donations to Lennie’s Kids can be mailed to 245 Ioka Hills Rd., Columbus, NC, 28722.      

Thanks for listening.     

Leonard Rizzo is the founder of Lennie’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps sick and injured animals in the foothills, promotes animal welfare, and works to find homes for pets.