NORTHERN UTAH -- Around 300 foster kids will have a very, merry Christmas after a special delivery on Wednesday.
The early Christmas came in the form of camo uniforms and colorful sacks that would make Santa jealous, as dozens from Hill Air Force Base transformed from airmen to Santa’s Brigade, marching—or rather, driving—to hundreds of foster homes.
“When they open the door and you bring them all these gifts, and they see the guys in uniform: It lights up their face, they really enjoy it,” said Tech Sergeant Michael Barfuss.
More than 900 presents found their home under the trees of around 300 foster children, and kids since adopted from foster care.
Utah Foster Care, which organized the delivery, said the holidays can be a trying time for these kids.
“Being a child and being removed from your biological home over the Christmas holidays, it can be hard even if you are with a very loving family,” said Communications Director Deborah Linder.
Families like the McLain’s know what that’s like.
Mom and dad, Janet and Douglas, adopted their five children. Liam, 7, Jackson, 5, and 20-month-old Olivia started as fosters.
“A lot of times they've never really felt special to anybody, because of their previous experiences,” Janet said.
Feeling special can start with a simple gift, and a fulfilled Christmas wish.
“It's so neat that they can see that there's kindness in the world, and that there are safe people in the world,” Janet said. “It's actually very healing for them.”
It was a healing holiday filled with a new family, presents, and showing these kids what it means to be loved.
“This is kind of our way to show these kids that we care about them too, and we're part of their life, try to help and make better,” Barfuss said.
Utah Foster Care said the 60 Hill AFB airmen used their own vacation time, personal vehicles and gas to play Santa. Utah Foster Care rounded up all the gift donations. To learn more about Utah Foster Care and the ways you can help their efforts, visit the group's website.