Operation St. Nick helps make Christmas special for children in Mount Holly

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (WPVI) -- Santa Claus had some help making the holiday season a little brighter for some families in need.

His helpers were out in South Jersey just in time for Christmas.

Sirens and flashing lights replaced reindeer as Santa delivered presents across Mount Holly.

His elves came from the Mount Holly fire and police departments, the VFW and the PTA.

The Jackson family was one of ten families in need who received wrapped toys and holiday dinners.

"I'm overwhelmed. It's so special to see people coming here to share with my grandchildren," said Elaine Parish.

The motorcade of merriment stopped at ten homes of children whose families, school resource officer Deborah Brewer says, could use the extra help.

"It's hard not to get emotional because I see these kids day in and day out, and I know what good people they are," said Officer Brewer.

Santa's delivery was extra special for 16-year-old Kayla Mitchell.

Earlier this year, she and her dad Robert were homeless, so Kayla took online classes as he drove a tractor trailer.

"We didn't have a home, so she was learning in the truck. She pulled a laptop out, and she'd do all her work and I was her tutor," said Robert Mitchell.

"This is awesome. I wasn't expecting a big Christmas like this," said Kayla.

The groups raised more than $5,000, and purchased 500 gifts for 31 deserving children.

"Just to see their faces tonight when we're delivering. That's the best thing," said Stephanne Allen of the PTA.

"They are part of our community. We are one community. By doing this makes them feel part of our community also," said Chief Richard Spitler of the Mount Holly Police Department. "Santa helps everybody, and I'm glad he did. Look at those elves. Merry Christmas."

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