Santa, Hutchinson Fire Department deliver gifts, smiles to children
Santa Claus Tuesday night (Christmas Eve) made his first stop in Hutchinson with the Hutchinson Fire Department and dozens of volunteers.
The first of many stops for Santa was for Reno County children, including a 4-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis. Alysandra Martinez's mother, Kristi Martinez, says it's a battle Alysandra has faced "pretty much since birth."
"She's been hospitalized every year, usually around Christmastime," Martinez says.
When she saw Santa Claus and local first responders pull up with gifts for her daughter, Martinez says she tried not to cry as firefighters lined up and brought joy to her children's faces.
Together, Santa, Hutchinson firefighters and volunteers surprised hundreds of children in Reno County, including Alysandra It's something for the children to fondly remember for years, volunteers say. While proud of the effort, they say they wish they could help even more.
"There's a lot we don't get to help. We're sad about that," Santa says of the volunteer effort in Hutchinson. "It breaks our hearts, but we do our best to help as many as possible. The fire department was a big help (Christmas Eve) night."