SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — San Diego firefighters handed out holiday cheer on Monday teaming up with Santa Claus, as well as sponsors, to give out gifts to pre-chosen families.
In most cases, those families had no idea until they arrived.
It's not the kind of sleigh we're used to seeing Santa Claus on, but on Monday the jolly man himself joined San Diego firefighters in a fire truck to bring some much-needed joy to deserving families throughout the city.
Their first stop was to see the Stansbury family in Southcrest.
Della Johnson was overcome with emotion.
"Oh, you got a drum set...that's what he wanted too," said Della as she watched her 10-year-old grandson Makhai get exactly what he had wished for Christmas.
"It's just exciting for my family and exciting for me too, you know?" she said.
For 28 years, the San Diego Fire Department has teamed up with sponsors and volunteers to adopt families pre-selected through the San Diego school system.
This year, a total of 10 families received $1,000 worth of gifts a piece through the Mobile Santa program.
Firefighters even pitch in some of their own paychecks to make it happen.
Mayra Torrez feels fortunate to have made the list.
When asked why it was so meaningful to her, she said: "My sons are going to have a nice Christmas."
Outside, Santa and his elves passed out even more toys to kids in the neighborhoods they visited with items designated for infants up to pre-teens.
Robin Davenport's daughters each got a bike.
"It's a blessing for my kids and me to enjoy the Christmas time of the year," said Robin.
The firefighters enjoy the event as well.
"It never gets old," said San Diego Fire Captain Jesse Conner. "This is a way the firefighters love to give back to a community that we work and serve in, so it's really important to us."
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