Firefighters, police turn Santa's elves

archive_import /

By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

For four hours Tuesday, the Angels Camp Police Station garage was transformed into a Christmas kingdom complete with Santa, his elves and lots of cookies, candy and hot chocolate.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., firefighters from Angels Camp and Altaville/New Melones districts, Angels police officers and several Police Explorers along with community volunteers handed out wrapped gifts, packed food baskets into cars, and welcomed families.

In one corner, Santa sat with teddy bears and candy canes to give away. Jackets, jeans and other clothing were displayed on a table, ready for the choosing. Another table held cookies, candies, brownies, hot chocolate and coffee.

"The Explorers started this about five years ago," said Angels police officer Tom Spence. "They wanted to help people in our community so they took presents to the hospital."

But the need and the volunteer enthusiasm grew and three years ago, the police and firefighters as well as other community volunteers joined in.

This year, more than 20 volunteers from throughout the area shopped for presents, organized food pickups and helped welcome the families to the Christmas kingdom Tuesday.

About 40 families from Angels Camp and as far up the mountains as Murphys benefited from the Christmas spirit.

"Schools and community members let us know which families might be having a struggle and need some help to have a merry Christmas," said Spence. "We check to make sure they aren't on anyone else's list ... so we aren't doubling up with groups like Santa's Express."

Spence said each family receives enough food for a Christmas feast, presents for all the kids, clothes and other useful items. He said a lot of the presents come from people in Greenhorn Creek and from other community members who want to "give something back."

Freelance photographer Irene Baldwin photographed children visiting with Santa, giving each family a Polaroid print of the encounter.

11703369
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Sunday May 1, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
New $65M courthouse to open by end of 2019

04/26/2016

State officials are working with architectural consultants on final designs for a ... more

Lake is full, marina is open

04/26/2016

The temperature was in the high 20s Tuesday morning when Jacob Hartley, ... more

Increased pulse flows for fish begin on Stanislaus River

04/26/2016

Agencies that control flows on the Stanislaus River below Tulloch and New ... more

Rim Fire recovery plan released

04/28/2016

Federal custodians of the Stanislaus National Forest are publishing a plan today ... more

Director resigns as infighting continues

04/27/2016

Bryan Adcox has resigned from the Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors ... more