December 22, 2013–With sirens screaming and air horns blaring, Santa Claus once again led a procession of San Diego Fire-Rescue vehicles and personnel, making a journey through the streets of San Diego to deliver presents to a number of families while handing out toys to neighborhood children.
According to Denise Pendleton, Director of Operations for San Diego City Firefighters Local 145, toys and donations are collected year-round to prepare for Santa’s visit in a joint, dedicated team effort between firefighters, San Diego City Schools and corporate sponsors. This year, over 2000 toys were transported and handed out during the four-hour, nine-stop trip through San Diego. As Santa exited SDFRD Engine 911 and his helpers unloaded gifts for the selected families, other firefighters, along with their wives and children, handed out toys to neighborhood children.
Smiles were aplenty as neighborhood children left with an unexpected toy, but the unfolding stories inside the homes Santa visited were even more special. Smiles, expressions of joy and gratitude and even a few tears marked a very special day for those who received–and especially for those who gave.