Santa delivers gifts from fire truck

CHAMPAIGN -- Before he hopped on his sleigh, Santa made a few early stops. Santa had some unique helpers: members of the Eastern Prairie Fire Department. The delivered toys to sick and less fortunate children around the city.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all around here, there were sightings of Santa spreading holiday cheer.

"A lot of these kids aren't sure if Santa's going to come to their house so when they do get to see him and Santa gives them a gift, it's just a special feeling when you see their face light up," said Eastern Prairie Assistant Fire Chief Jason Brown.

Instead of twelve reindeer and a shiny red sleigh, he came in a fire truck on Christmas Eve day.

"Kids that don't get to be fortunate enough to be home for Christmas or that are in the hospitals and sick, it's something to brighten their day by seeing Santa and getting presents," said Katie Hyatt.

With presents for children and candy canes too, he came with a message for them and for you.

"I think we've forgotten what Christmas is," said Gerald Gaines. "It's for children. It's supposed to be."

It's not all about boxes with ribbons and bows. But sharing hope with each other through highs and the lows.

"It's exciting because they don't get to see stuff like this that much but when they do it's a good time for them," said Hyatt.

After Santa gave gifts to all in his sight, he drove his red sleigh off into the night.

This was a part of the 20th annual Operation Santa that the fire department does. They also visited children in hospitals before hitting the streets. 

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