First Commercial Bank staff joins Santa in helping others

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Staff at Manila First Commercial Bank gave Santa a helping hand. Pictured are, from left: Danielle Lancaster, Santa (Randy Frakes) and Sharon Bunch.

Santa Claus is taking extra steps this holiday season to ensure that the children at Bridge of Hope have a reason to smile on Christmas morning.

Manila native Randy Franks is a part-time school bus driver, who makes extra money during the holidays appearing as Santa. He's making an early stop on Dec. 20 to the children at Bridge of Hope Children's Home in Vanndale.

Franks is also quite the toymaker. He cleans and repairs used toys throughout the year, providing them for the children.

In preparation for the holiday season, Franks found out that the children needed pajamas and toiletry items. This prompted him to reach out to Sharon Bunch and Danielle Lancaster at the Manila branch of First Commercial Bank, who agreed to provide the needed items for every child.

The Bridge of Hope is a non-profit agency that provides safe and secure housing for children in need across Northeast Arkansas. These children come from homes where they have been abused or neglected, or from homes where parents lack the skills necessary to care for them.

The facility is unique in that it doesn't separate siblings. The organization's focus is on allowing the children to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually with love, care and discipline.

To find out more about Bridge of Hope or how to provide support, please visit

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