Santa rides along in a fire engine to deliver presents to kids in Lealman

LEALMAN, Fla. - Many kids are filled with excitement as they  anxiously wait to see what goodies Santa delivers to them on Christmas morning.  But for some, Santa came to them today.

"Santa showed up at our fire station today, asked for our help," Lealman Fire Department District Chief Jim Millican said.

So for a few hours on Christmas Eve, Santa traded in his sleigh and jumped aboard a red fire engine.


Surrounded by elves from the Lealman Fire Department, Santa stopped to deliver toys to many area girls and boys.


All of the families Santa visited today have fallen upon some hard times, like Kristen Schanz.   She recently lost her job and had to move in with her father. "This year's been really crazy. I found out a lot of health issues that I haven't been able to work," she said.


As a mother of two and another on the way, the sight of Santa pulling up on a fire truck made for a very special Christmas Eve. 


"You guys wanted bikes for Christmas?" Santa asked.

"Yes," Dylan replied

"Look what I got!" Santa said.

"You have a bicycle from Santa," one of his helpers yelled.


"I don't think I've ever seen them so excited in my life," Kristen said.


Excitement and laughter filled the air all around. As Santa and Lealman Firefighters passed out bags of goodies to over 3,000 kids in town.


Firefighters collected donations and donated money all year. So, a day like today brings all these families some holiday cheer.


"To walk out of here and see the smiles on these kids faces and the tears of joy from the parents," Jim said. "It's an experience they probably won't ever experience again."


"It's just exciting, I mean to see the look on their faces is what makes it worth it," Nikki Williams said. Santa delivered her kids two bikes and bags full of toys.


The fire department and Santa will also make stops at apartment complexes around the area to make sure all kids who want a toy, get one for Christmas Day.

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