FAIRFIELD, AL (WBRC) - On Christmas Eve for the last six years, firemen in Fairfield load up two trucks and head out to the city's housing communities to help make Christmas a little brighter for those who are less fortunate.
This year was no different.
"They shot out my doors screaming they're here…they're here. Santa Claus is here," said Candace Daniel, who lives in the neighborhood.
It's a tradition the children love.
"My family loves it," continued Daniel.
It's also one that the fire crew enjoys just as much.
"It does my heart good to know that we can really give back to the community," said Captain Frankie Jefferson with Fairfield Fire and Rescue.
And that was the goal of the Santa Project six years ago when Chief Kevin Sutton started the efforts.
This tradition though is bittersweet.
Sutton was killed in a car accident in April.
"He really took to heart making sure that kids in our city who are less fortunate would have a Christmas, had it not been for those around the community
that helps sponsor those kids," continued Jefferson.
The children received dolls, train sets, remote controlled cars, clothes and so much more. All donated through the community, including partners like American Legion and neighborhood associations.
"It's heartwarming for me, for the rest of the guys to see that a small donation, a small token of appreciation, a small anything and these kids appreciate it. It doesn't take much to really do for these guys and girls and it makes us happy," continued Jefferson.
"I think it's a blessing for the neighborhood, for the kids, some kids can't afford to get anything from their parents so the fire department is being a huge blessing to the neighborhood ," said Daniel.