Early Christmas surprise in East Falls - Philadelphia News

EAST FALLS - December 19, 2008 It was a welcome early visit from Santa. He came to hear Christmas wishes from children living in Philadelphia public housing.

They are children who don't seem to ask for much as their families struggle.

Three dozen children living in Abbottsford homes in East Falls got toys and comfort from Santa.

Santa sent sacks of toys to more than 800 children living in Philadelphia public housing units across the city and $25 grocery gift cards to their parents as part of a nonprofit tenant support services program.

"To help the children know that somebody cares and help parents feel a little bit less about not having what they normally have," Asia Cooney of Tenant Support Services said.

While each of the bags is filled with toys, the hope is they deliver a powerful message of generosity and caring.

"Because these economic times really hurting everyone. So we just want to give love, hope and inspiration to the kids out here," Santa's helper Troy Robinson said.

The thoughtful gesture brought tears to one mom's eyes.

"I needed the help this year, I really did, I really needed the assistance," Katrina Rogers said.

The toys for PHA tots inspired lots of smiles.

7-year-old Zamir loves his gifts, but is most grateful for things you can't find under the Christmas tree.

"I like giving people stuff, baking cookies, playing in snow," 7-year-old Zamir Parish said.

More coverage for the holidays from 6abc.com

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