Operation St. Nick brings smiles, presents to Mount Holly families

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (WPVI) -- Christmas came early for some deserving families in Mount Holly thanks to Santa and the police.

It wasn't reindeer, but sirens and squad cars that helped Santa deliver presents Tuesday night.

His elves for the night were the Mount Holly police and fire department, and volunteers from the local VFW.

"They told me a little bit vaguely about Operation St. Nick, but never expected anything like this," resident Angela Covington said.

Covington was one of ten area families in need who received wrapped toys, presents and donated holiday dinners.

"All I want is for my children to have a merry Christmas, and for these people from the community to do this for us is overwhelming," Covington said.

"I'm a big believer that we're not just law enforcement, but we're community caretakers. What better time than at Christmastime to make sure that our community, those less fortunate, that their children have a memorable Christmastime, and that they do receive gifts that maybe their families couldn't provide for them," Chief Thomas Mastrangelo said.

Over at the Finn-Martinez residence, there were smiles - and presents - galore.

"I didn't know it was going to be this many presents, I thought it was just going to be a few, so I'm excited," Shaquana Finn said.

"When I see those smiles and the happiness that we bring to the families in general that really fulfills what I'm supposed to do as not only chief of police, but as a law enforcement officer," Chief Mastrangelo said.

While this is the department's fourth year of Operation St. Nick, the chief says they do things like this year round, but it's a little bit more special around the holiday season.

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