|Yuma firefighter lights up house|
Capt. Daniel Padilla, of the Yuma Fire Department, has synchronized 4,000 Christmas lights on his home in the 2100 block of East 27th Place to christmas music.
|Santa, YPD deliver Christmas|
Santa made a special delivery Friday to some Yuma families with the help of officers and civilian volunteers with the Yuma Police Department.
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Yuma police and civilian employees help Santa deliver gifts to struggling families
With a little help from the Yuma Police Department and the community, Santa Claus brought some early holiday cheer to three families on Friday, by delivering toys for children who may have otherwise had a slim Christmas this year.
“We are going to have the best Christmas,” said an excited 12-year-old Susan Arellano after police officers and civilian employees had carried armfulls of presents into her apartment. “I thought it was a lot.”
Arellano said there are three adults and four children in her family and the past year has been a struggle for them, especially her mother. Although her mother told them they would be getting a visit from Santa, she said she had no idea what to expect.
“I think it's really nice you did this,” she said.
In addition, all three families being visited received a generous food container from the local Elks Lodge # 476.
Police Assistant Kaweah Worthen said Friday's deliveries were about being able to do something nice for the community. She added that seeing the smiles on all the children's faces lets them know their efforts are greatly appreciated.
Worthen explained that the three families were adopted by the Yuma Police Department as part of it's Christmas Family program, and were recommended by a community member or a Yuma police officer. She went on to say that when a police officer comes in contact with a family that's struggling to make ends meet, but is trying, they turn in the names and addresses of the families, along with a list of gifts the youngsters want.
Once a family is chosen, Worthen said officers and civilian employees then go out and buy the gifts. Many of those gifts are also donated by several local businesses.
Seeing police officers on the porch has been an unpleasant experience in the past for some members of the families, such as Carlos Juarez, but not on Friday. He said he couldn't have been any happier.
“It really means a lot knowing that it is coming from their hearts,” said Juarez, who has five children who age in range from one to 10 years old. “I appreciate everything they have done. It's real touching.”
The children came running out of their house yelling and screaming as soon as they heard the sirens and saw Santa and a convoy of police cars pull up in front of their home. They even helped carry the presents inside the and place them around the tree.
“I'm happy,” said 10-year-old mia Juarez.
Among the gifts Santa brought was two bikes, which Juarez said his two boys had been wanting very badly.
Even though some of the presents – such as the bikes – couldn't be wrapped, all the families were under strict rules not to open their presents or use them until Christmas Day.