Ed Higinbotham, also known as Santa Claus in my book, made it a point to make children happy this year by donating several wooden handicraft toys! Santa has been donating hundreds of toys he has been making for nearly three decades.
That includes for Gifts for Kids of Fayette County, operated by the Pennsylvania State Police. State troopers have been picking up toys from Ed in 2017 and 2018, where several handmade items include flat-bed trucks, dump trucks, and fire trucks and tractors.
The wooden toys allow local children to use their imagination since “old-fashioned toys recall simpler times.” Pennsylvania State Trooper Robert Broadwater, community service and public information officer for Pennsylvania State Police Troop B, met Ed last year and now helps him distribute the toys to children in learning centers, preschools, and middle schools. Not only do they both distribute during Christmas time but throughout the year.
The 92-year-old toymaker began making wooden toys in 1991 after retiring as the maintenance supervisor for the Uniontown Area School District. He grew up outside of Smock on a 114-acre family farm where he kept busy with chores. After marrying, he lived on the family farm and acquired their own 10-acre farm nearby before moving to Georges Township about 25 years ago. In retirement, Ed found a hobby in making wooden toys and donating items he would make to children who worked by his workshop next to his home.
This year, Ed managed to make 300 toys to distribute throughout the town. The toy-maker takes great care into including small details on the toys such as a ladder on a fire truck or a bridle on the horse’s head. His response when someone asked if he was Santa Claus incarcerated? “It’s just something that I enjoy doing and now I make somebody else happy, and if that’s Santa Claus then I’m Santa Claus.”
Now that is the spirit of Christmas! I guess we now know Santa Claus he lives in Pittsburgh.