PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Santa Claus made a stop at the Panama City Police Department a few days early for their winter wonderland party.
Panama City Police partnered with the Northwest Florida Health Network and Twin Oaks Community Services to put together a celebration for families struggling this holiday season.
Like magic – part of their station was transformed into a winter wonderland. Local organizations worked to make this happen with the hopes of spread Christmas cheer for all to hear.
Twin Oaks Community Services Executive Director, Jeff McSpaddin, said they were excited to partner with PCPD and spread Christmas cheer.
“Most of the families that we are involved with have a lot of stressors in their lives, have a lot of issues and things that they are trying to work through, and the dynamics of their family make it difficult for them to provide the Christmas that many people can afford and appreciate,” McSpaddin said.
From there the departments collected wishlists from each kid and put their elves to work. Toy donations came pouring in from across the county.
“You name it, they’ve got it,” McSpaddin said. “I’ve seen basketballs, I’ve seen board games, I think I even saw a hamster in a cage.”
This year they supported around 120 kids. As the kids walked through the snow they could pick out a stuffed animal and a present, eat Christmas cookies, and finish off by seeing some familiar faces like Santa and The Grinch.
Panama City Police Sergeant Jordan Hoffman said they were happy to help with the event.
“It really sets the tone for our own holiday seasons,” Hoffman said. “It sends us into our holiday seasons with our families and our loved ones in good spirits and we know that we have positively impacted somebody else.”
Police officers will also be dropping off some gifts to children’s homes who could not make Wednesday’s party.