Operation Santa Claus

Irrigator file photo

The Patterson Volunteer Firefighters Association and the Patterson Fire Department has kicked off Operation Santa Claus 2019, and will be collecting unwrapped toys or other gifts at Fire Station 1, located at 344 West Las Palmas Avenue, as well as in barrels at some local businesses.

The highlight of the toy drive, though, is when the jolly old elf himself takes a break from his work at the North Pole and rides with his entourage through local neighborhoods on the Fire Department’s vintage fire truck, waving to his many admirers, Christmas music announcing his arrival. Kids of all ages, some wrapped in robes or blankets, others holding their children or pets, eagerly await Santa’s visit. Explorer scouts accompany Santa, handing out candy canes and collecting toys and gifts, as well.

Thanks to the community’s generosity, the drive typically collects enough toys and other gifts to brighten Christmas for about 1,200 children in need.

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