Operation Santa Claus: Accomplished

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TOBYHANNA -- Nearly 300 children with special needs celebrated Christmas together at the Tobyhanna Army Depot Wednesday.

It's part of a program called "Operation Santa Claus."

Music filled the air, and nearly 300 children with special needs crowded the dance floor to celebrate Christmas.

The three-day event is held every year at the Tobyhanna Army Depot as a way to give back to the community.

For those who are invited to attend, it's like a Christmas miracle.

"The Christmas miracle is just seeing the community come together and put such a beautiful show on. I'm very touched by it," said Debbie O'Connor, a special education teacher.

One reason O'Connor said she's so touched is because of her students Michael and Jason, who are both in elementary school. They also both light up once they hit the dance floor.

"When I see Michael come here, he lights up like a Christmas tree. His eyes sparkle and he can't get enough hugs," said O'Connor, "Just seeing Jason light up when he sees all the characters and when he sees Santa and Mrs. Claus."

Good Old Saint Nick couldn't say enough about meeting everyone, both young and old.

"The smile on their face when they're dancing around. And singing and eating. They're just having a ball, that's what it's all about," said Santa.

By the looks of it, the Depot's mission of giving back to the community and spreading Christmas cheer has been accomplished.