Santa Claus traded his sleigh for a police cruiser Sunday afternoon to pass out presents to families still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The Atlantic City police department asked teachers at Texas and Sovereign Avenue schools for families looking for some cheer in the wake of Sandy.
"We asked them to pick a family, one from each school and that we would play Santa Claus, at least for the day. And they got back to us, not only with the name of the child in the school, but everyone in the family," said Local 24 PBA president Paul Barbere.
For one family still displaced by Sandy, the visit from Santa and the police left everyone smiling.
"The principal, she called and told me, they have a surprise for Carlos," said Atlantic City Resident Katherine Urriola.
"They're happy, very, very happy."
The police also partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids Sunday afternoon to pass out toys at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center and other locations around the city.
ACPD officials say they try to give back to the community every Christmas, but this year they stepped up their efforts to lift the spirits of a community still struggling post-Sandy.
"Families may not be able to afford or provide a real Christmas so this year, again with the storm, we wanted to reach out and do a little bit more," said Barbere.
Officers making the deliveries say serving the community is a year round job, a job that takes on a special meaning around the holidays.
"We always have to deal with peoples problems and that's what we are there for. People always call us for help," said Barbere.
"But to actually bring some joy to them, it's a great feeling."