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This Grinch isn't here to steal Christmas, but to spread the holiday spirit

Six nights a week, Steve Pruett dresses up as the Grinch and drives around in a truck decorated with inflatables and Christmas lights, handing out toys to kids.

MOLINE, Ill. — The Grinch has been busy this holiday season, but instead of preparing to steal everyone's presents, he's helping hand them out.

Since Black Friday, Steve Pruett has spent six nights a week dressing up as the Grinch and driving around all different cities and neighborhoods in the QCA giving away small stuffed animals to kids.

He drives a truck decked out in Christmas lights and inflatables and plays Christmas music.

"Probably about 10 years ago, I worked for another company, and we did a semi around here and done the same thing. These guys knew I missed it because I love being out with the kids and meeting the parents," said Pruett, who's now doing this with EVS Mobile Repair. "So Joe came up with the idea. He said, 'We got a truck sitting here. Let's make a Christmas truck.'"

There's no set route. They just pick a town and drive around the neighborhoods, sometimes parking outside a store.

People will come up and take pictures with the Grinch and of the truck, while others wave from their windows as the truck drives by.

Pruett describes it as "pure happiness."

"If you can see the glow in their faces and the smiles, you get the spirit yourself even more," he said. "And I love Christmas."

He added that he wants to help spread joy this Christmas season and give back to the community. He estimates that he's met thousands of people and spent around $1,000 on the little stuffed animals.

"If I can make one minute joyful for them, then I did what I can do," Pruett said. "We lost so much in this country over the last couple of years with COVID and everything that we're trying to find some joy for these children and maybe get something back into this community. We lost a lot so we need something."

He's hoping to have the Christmas truck out through Friday night, depending on the weather. If you're hoping to catch the Grinch and his truck, sometimes he posts what city he'll be in on Facebook.

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