• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the past three decades, a local non-profit has been making Christmas a day to remember for families in the Philadelphia area, who sure could use a dose of holiday cheer.

The Committee to Benefit the Children doesn’t have to check its list twice. Young patients they help at St. Christopher’s Hospital are in advanced stages of diseases like sickle-cell anemia and leukemia, many with a mom or dad who can’t afford to put presents under the tree.

“The individuals that we’ve gone after are the ones that literally have fallen through the crack, both financially and medically.”

But it’s much more than gifts, says chief Santa (and a co-director at the non-profit) Jim McCloskey.  Imagine the siblings’ reaction when the sleigh arrives, all made possible by their sick brother or sister, who gets to come home for the day.

“There’s Santa coming, 27,413 miles to make a personal visit on Christmas Eve afternoon, even though everyone knows that we don’t usually do this until Christmas Eve.  But that’s why this kid is so special.”

McCloskey counts among his merry band of elves volunteers from LaSalle College High School and the Philadelphia Highway Patrol.

More information at CBCKids.org.

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