"Secret Santa" Project brings early Christmas

PHILADELPHIA - December 24, 2010

The "Secret Santa" project is sponsored by the Committee to Benefit Children, with major support from LaSalle College High School.

Their goal, to make sure children with cancer and blood diseases experience the magic of the holday season.

For families like the Johnsons it's Christmas a few hours early.

Seven month old Jacori has Cickle Cell disease, and Santa has gifts for him and his three brothers

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The "Secret Santa" project has become a community event. When a neighborhood sees and hears Santa's entourage approaching.

"People realize there's a child who has cancer or either a hemotologic problem," said Dr. Gregory Halligan.

This year Secret Santa is visiting more than 60 families with the help of hundreds of sponsors and volunteers.

"This is all about the volunteers and everybody that's helped from LaSalle High School all the way through and have been a big part of everything that makes this happen," said Jim McCloskey.

The goal is to provide a little holiday cheer to those who need it most; parents who have a seriously ill child and can't afford extras during the holiday.

And Santa also visits those children, who can't be home for Christmas, like little Daniella Coss, diagnosed with infant leukemia when she was 2 hours old, and 14 year old Bianca Cotto who has bone cancer.

Bianca went home today to Reading for a few days, where she's hoping for a pair of Uggs. Santa brought them early.

Dr. Halligan, Jim McCloskey, and all the wonderful volunteers with "Secret Santa donate their time, and help raise lots of money to put smiles on the faces of families in need during one of the most critical times of the year.

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