By: Cierra Putman
MIDLAND - They didn't have reindeer or a sleigh, but Midland firefighters helped Kris Kringle by dropping of some gifts early this year just in time for Christmas.
"People are calling us before or when it's the worst day of their lives or something bad going on," Lee Wise of the Midland Fire Department, said. "We'll do our best to make things better."
On Wednesday and Thursday when the sirens came on, it wasn't because of a tragedy.
"Look what Santa Claus put in our fire truck for you," firefighters said.
This year, the Midland Fire Department adopted four families as a part of the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program and personally delivered the gifts to families in need.
"In this case it's probably someone who really hasn't called for our help and it makes us feel better to step in and help everybody out," Wise said.
"We were really surprised, we didn't expect this, pretty amazing," Jason Horton said.
For some families, even the kids knew Christmas could be bleak.
"I didn't know if I was going to get presents," 13-year-old William Downs said.
But the flashing lights and sirens turned things around.
"Daddy, this is the best Christmas ever," one child said. "Santa Claus gave us all of this."
Angel Tree helps thousands of kids in the Permian Basin. Before this year, Ashley Clark was donating gifts to them.
"You know throughout the years I've given to the Salvation Army, the Goodwill and this year I needed that help," Clark said. "You know work was slow. I think you should give because you never know when you're going to be in need and when you're in need you should know you have someone to go to when you need the help."
Midland firefighters say they'll continue to give if only to brighten up Christmas for a local child.
"That's what it's all about," Wise said. "Just passing out hugs and smiles for kids especially this time of year."
The Midland Salvation Army had more than 2,000 children in the Angel Tree program this year. To learn how you can help the Salvation Army or adopt a child on an Angel Tree next year you can call (432) 683-3614.