BURKBURNETT, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Burkburnett Volunteer Fire Department firefighters switched on their lights not to put out a fire but to put a smile on a child's face Saturday morning.
It is called Operation Santa Claus. BFD firefighters and the community raise money to give children in need within their response area presents.
"I always feel like it's a sense that we've done something for the children and we've given them an experience we hope they remember and take with them in the future," BFD Division Chief Len Nauman said. It is his 14th year participating.
It has become a Christmas tradition. The volunteer firefighters raised enough money to give presents to around 100 families and more than 200 children in the areas they help.
Nauman said it makes him and other firefighters feel like Santa Claus when they see the smiles on the children's faces.
"For us, it gives us a sense of accomplishment to go and visit families at a time that they're not a crisis," Nauman said.
Ashley Dremel, a Burkburnett mother of two, said she felt 'blissful and totally blessed' after firefighters handed her the presents for her children.
"It is hard this time of the year and having some people do this is just amazing," Dremel said.
She also said she cannot wait to see her kids open the presents Christmas Day.
"It helps tremendously. I don't have to worry that they don't have to go without," Dremel said.
More than $5,000 was raised to help the kids have a present underneath their tree.