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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a winter wonderland to some of the biggest imaginations. The Fraternal Order of Police gave dozens of youngsters a chance to have breakfast with Santa at FOP headquarters in northeast Philadelphia Sunday.
The children lined up to share their Christmas list with Santa or meet some Disney favorites. This is the second year the police organization hosted the holiday event for special-needs children.
“The event is great because it allows them to enjoy Christmas stuff in an environment that is sensory friendly, said Candace Flynn, a mother of four children. “A lot of times, in stores it’s too crowded and too much.”
Parents say events like this make their children feel more included during the holidays. That was important to Lt. Maria Ortiz when she first brought the idea to FOP leadership. Her son is on the autism spectrum.
“I’ve been an officer for 23 years and I’ve been attending the FOP Christmas party,” Ortiz said. “Finally, last year, I mentioned it to the president and he was more than willing to do it. It’s been a great event.”
“Their faces, you can see the expression on their face,” FOP President John McNesby said. “The smiles, the laughter. We look forward to expanding it next year.”
Until then, the families will have these memories for a lifetime.