While so many Temple Terrace residents are busy bouncing from store to store to ready themselves for the holidays, not everyone is as fortunate.
Some local residents are going almost door to door to try to find work. Unfortunately, Santa will not be able to visit every child's home this weekend as the local economy continues to be mired in the dumps and many families are doing all they can just to save their homes.
But just as they have since 1987, Temple Terrace police and fire departments have tried to see to it that local needy children are aware that, yes, there really is a Santa Claus.
Known as a project called “Sincerely Santa,” Temple Terrace first responders were busy in recent weeks working so children who may be lucky to have power in their homes much less a Christmas tree get a present for the holidays.
Children in local schools from kindergarten through the third grade are asked to write Santa what they want for the holidays. Teachers then monitor the letters from children and those with the biggest needs are sent to the Sincerely Santa project. Those letters are then displayed at various shopping centers and corporate partners so as many people as possible can participate in making a needy child's Christmas wish come true.
After the toys are donated, they are collected by first responders and then delivered to the children.
On Monday, the Temple Terrace firefighters, without a sleigh of reindeer available at the time, delivered the presents in grand style with one of their bright red fire trucks.
This year, the firefighters who delivered the presents were Ian Kemp, Ben Farris, Ricky Santos and Captain Walt Rogers.