GERMANTOWN (WPVI) -- For this special occasion, Santa ditched his reindeer and sleigh for a police cruiser.
Officers in Philadelphia Police Department's 14 District took on the role of Santa's elves and collected toys for those in need in the community.
The families are selected by politicians, family members, and concerned citizens.
"To me, this is Christmas. The keyword is giving. It's not about receiving. Christmas is about giving. This right here touches my heart," Officer Dennis Smith said.
"Make somebody a little happier, somebody who didn't know where their next meal was going to come from, a child who was going to go without a toy or a coat, that's what it's all about," Deacon Frank Crangle said.
For each family visited, this was bit of a Christmas miracle; most had a difficult year and this added help made all the difference.
Danecia Berrian says things have been so bad, she didn't know if she'd make it to see Christmas.
Receiving the presents was great, but the best gift is being able to see her kids smile.
"We are grateful. We have our lives. Tomorrow's not a promise, but you never really know what that means until you're faced with it," Berrian said.
This small act of kindness by the 14th police district is having a big impact on families.
Many say it's a reminder of all the good police officers do.
"It shows me that we do have good police officers that are willing to help our community. We need to stand by and hopefully this will spread," resident Jessica Watkins said.
Philadelphia police spread holiday joy in Germantown