Christmas comes early for military families

Christmas came early for some military families in Fort Wayne as Ol Saint Nick made a stop at the 122nd Fighter Wing.

Posted: Dec. 19, 2018 6:55 PM
Updated: Dec. 20, 2018 6:27 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Christmas came early for some military families in Fort Wayne as Ol Saint Nick made a stop at the 122nd Fighter Wing. 

"They are families that are maybe unemployed or underemployed currently and need a little extra help this holiday year," said Connie Douthat, the program manager. 

Douthat said the families who received the presents didn't want to be revealed, but they're perhaps the most deserving. 

"We have two families who have members currently deployed, and the rest are back and just getting on their feet," she said. 

One by one, packages, boxes, and bags loaded with Christmas cheer were unloaded. 

Santa said the elves behind the gifts are local donors, local organizations like the Mad Ants, and a special, last-minute gift from Meijer. 

"When we went through the line at Meijer, we had two heaping carts of clothes and other goodies for kids, and the manager at Meijer came over and said, 'We've got a special program at Meijer called Meijer Merry Christmas, and we pick out one individual every year, and we buy all of their goods at that they have purchased,'" Santa said. 

For the families, it's an act that makes all the difference during the holiday season, and for Kris Kringle, it's a feeling that can't be topped. 

'I think this is the time of year where we have an opportunity to help...just to be able to spread the love and the peace and the joy of the holiday season," he said. 

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