Toronto’s Fred Mirza Volunteers On 74th birthday making Santa Claus Fund boxes

“What better way to pass time?”

Mirza has been holding down the mystery warehouse where Santa Fund boxes are packed and organized since September. He says the operation becomes “more high tech” with each passing year.

by Laura BeestonStaff Reporter, thestar.com

“The brains behind these operations have thought of everything now,” he tells me, “The logistics of what (boxes) to put where and how to sort them out, age wise… It’s working like a charm…”

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Someone cuts the music and makes an announcement of Mirza’s big day. (Maybe I let it slip to management that someone should be celebrated.)

He shakes his head and waves, flushed, when his colleagues start to cheer and sing.

“That was slightly embarrassing,” he tells me later. “It’s really not about me.”

For Mirza, the reward is “that smile when the kids come.”

He recalls greeting children, with his white beard, Scout uniform and Santa hat at the door. “Their eyes popped off,” he laughs.

“The bottom line is that we are helping 45,000 kids who would not have (anything) if we had not gone out and helped them,” he says. “I spread (the word) in my own community, through everything I do. If you have the time, go out and do it. That’s my bottom line.”

What a birthday gift, indeed.

If you have been touched by the Santa Claus Fund or have a story to tell, please email santaclausfund@thestar.ca