Santa Gives Gifts for AbilityFirst Kids in East LA

Santa Gives Gifts for AbilityFirst Kids in East LA 1024 651 SIB Staff

Santa Drops by with Gifts for AbilityFirst Participants in East Los Angeles

Santa’s reindeer took the day off yesterday, and because Santa still needed a ride, one of the helicopters from our air support fleet arrived at the North Pole to assist him in the early delivery of presents to a special group of children.

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, Aero Bureau personnel flew Santa to the Eugene W. Biscailuz Regional Training Center in East Los Angeles. For the past 11 years, deputies from East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station assisted Santa in bringing Christmas early to children participating in the AbilityFirst East Los Angeles Center program.

With help from AbilityFirst, an organization which offers programs and services to help children and adults with disabilities, deputies were able to give back to their local community by creating a winter wonderland where the kiddies waited for Santa’s arrival.

The event unfolded as Santa and one of his helping elves landed in the helicopter on the tarmac, right in front of the kids who were waiting for them with high anticipation. And, oh, were there miles of smiles! Next, everyone enjoyed an afternoon snack…and then the real fun began! The kids got exclusive access to Santa, with comforting hugs for everyone. Each child received a hand-delivered gift, specially chosen to fit their age and taste. Others who were curious and adventurous got to climb into one of Special Enforcement Bureau’s tactical armored vehicles and inspect the interior.

More than a decade later, this program remains a tradition, thanks to the generous toy donations from the community and East Los Angeles Station deputies. The smiles, squeaks and giggles were the best return for everyone who had a hand in putting it together.

Center Director Monica Alcantar expressed her gratefulness and thanked everyone for giving the kids a day to feel special, which was the exact goal East Los Angeles Station personnel set out to accomplish. She and her staff brought a stack of handwritten thank you cards from the kids, and more stacks of homemade cards with each child’s picture on the front and a sweet, symbolic roll of candy on the inside.

It was a lovely and rewarding afternoon! Commander April Tardy, Central Patrol Division, also attended and shared in the happiness of seeing the smiles, and pure reactions of joy and excitement on the kids’ faces. Here’s to looking forward to next year’s holiday celebration!

AbilityFirst is a nonprofit organization which has provided programs and services to help children and adult with disabilities reach their full potential since 1926.

For more information please contact East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station at (323) 264-4151 or call AbilityFirst at 1-877-768-4600 and click on following link: