A longtime Neptune business has been helping some of the township’s most-needy families during Christmas for more than a decade
“We want to make their Christmas as enjoyable as possible and Santa always delivers gifts on his stretch-sleigh limo,” said Martin Ross, owner of Ross Limo on Route 33.
Presents, meals and other goodies were all loaded up for Santa to deliver this week in association with the Neptune police department.
Ross said he was asked by former Police Chief Howard O’Neil years ago to help provide some food and toys to needy Neptune families.
“That was about 13 years ago and we only served two or three families then,” he said.
Now, working with the police department and school officials, the annual event is serving 16 families this year- two families from each of the township’s eight schools, giving them clothes and gifts. School officials determine what families will be in the program.
Ross said one family just lost their house in a fire and others are living in hotel rooms.
“We just want to put a smile on their face this time of year,” he said.
In addition to the 16 families, the holiday project also gave two laptop computers to two graduating Neptune seniors, who are heading off to college, and delivered 100 meals to Neptune seniors in the morning in conjunction with the Neptune Housing Authority.
But it also costs money to be a holiday Santa and Ross estimates it now costs thousands of dollars to complete his holiday mission.
“The business donates but we also get donations from clients, family, friends, employees,” he said.
Martin said none of this would be possible without the hard work his mother, Karen.
“She spends a lot of extra time on this. If it were not for my mother, we would never be at this point right now and she deserves all of the credit,” he said.