HEMSI delivers gifts to kids in a different kind of sleigh

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The siren sounded Tuesday morning as an ambulance pulled into the YMCA Early Childhood Development Center-- but there was no danger-- just smiles and excitement!

For 11 years HEMSI has partnered with United Way to make sure each kid gets a gift.

"We got a list of names, so we know who's naughty, who's nice, who's boys and who's girls," said Don Webster with HEMSI. He's been with HEMSI since the beginning of this Christmas tradition. "Just looking at these kids faces, it means a lot to them. Sometimes it may be the only Christmas gift that they get."

Everyone lines up and one after one the kids' names are called and they're given their gift.

For the gift-giving paramedics, it's all about seeing those smiles, but another underlying message makes it an important event.

"We want them to know that we're good people, because we do respond to a lot of bad things," Webster said. "But we want them to know we bring good things to them, too."

After the presents are passed out with care, the kids go inside and start to tear! Gifts include baby dolls, trucks, and tractors of all kinds.

The United Way of Madison County helps HEMSI decide on which gifts to give each individual child and they all work together on wrapping the gifts.


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