Santa, San Diego police entourage deliver toys to children in need

Participating officers: It's absolute joy

SAN DIEGO - He didn’t have his sleigh or his reindeer. Instead, Santa Claus arrived in a San Diego police patrol car with an entourage of officers by his side, to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to hundreds of needy families.

All day Saturday, Santa and his police helpers delivered presents to a total of 300 children in the community.

Sara Pastrana and her siblings were among the ones that got a surprise knock at the door.

What would have otherwise been a Christmas without any presents, transformed into one of their best Christmas’ ever, which brought tears to the eyes of their mother, Maria.  

“Sometimes we don’t have money to buy something that they want. So this is emotional for me,” Maria Pastrana said.

Lt. Eric Hays with the San Diego Police Department said that’s what makes the project worthwhile. For more than 10 years the Mid-City division of the SDPD collects toys from the community, distributing them to those who need it.

However, this year’s project was in jeopardy -- there wasn’t enough presents for all of the kids.  The community stepped up and saved the day, dropping off more gifts.

“It’s absolute joy,” Hays said. “All year long we see bad stuff happening. So, to see the kids and parents smiling, it’s very joyful for us.”

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