'Santa Bob' needs your help


by 3TV

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 3 at 12:14 PM

PHOENIX -- He's a driving force behind the spirit of the season here in the Valley, but now "Santa Bob" needs your help.

As Mike Watkiss explains, Bob Grinnell's "sleigh" has broken down, making it hard for him to spread joy and put smiles on the faces of kids all over the Phoenix metro area.

For nearly twenty years a 67-year-old Valley man named Bob Grinnell has lived the kind life that would make even Ebenezer Scrooge believe in Santa Claus.

"It's all about unconditional loving and giving," the round and bearded man who is best known as "Santa Bob" told me.

And over the many years Bob Grinnell has certainly lived up to credo.

In his red suit and hat, Grinnell has embodied the spirit of Christmas with his one man crusade to bring joy and gifts to some of the Valley's neediest families.

Every year Grinnell goes out and finds families in need. Sometimes with the help of the community and sometimes out of his own pocket, he collects gifts for the children and the adults.

He then personally delivers the items to places often forgotten in this Season of Joy, be it a dreary apartment with mattresses on the floor, one of the Valley's homeless shelters or a hospice for terminally ill children.

But suddenly there is a hitch in Santa Bob's routine,  after his old mini-van blow its engine.

Grinnell tells me this year he has adopted more than 50 families and now worries that without his old "sleigh" he may not be able to make his rounds.

"But something will happen," Grinnell said with a hearty "ho ho ho."

And coming from a guy in the business of making magic, you have to believe that someway Santa Bob will indeed find a way to make it happen.