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Pittsburgh Police, Volunteers Give Out Gifts To Spread Christmas Joy

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Santa came to town today to give out some early gifts, and he had some help from Pittsburgh neighbors and police.

Santa and his helpers were bringing the joy of Christmas to neighbors in Beechview and Brookline.

"It makes me feel good and excited know that someone will get the joy of having presents," volunteer Damlen Davis said.

The gifts were left on doorsteps of families who need a helping hand after this challenging year.

"Try to have a socially distant beautiful Christmas for everyone," Santa said.

Jolly Old St. Nick, Pittsburgh Police, and volunteers delivered almost 80 presents Saturday.

Officers and volunteers will help deliver to hundreds of more this year.

They say the need increased by almost three fold from 2019.

"Last year we helped about 200 families. This year we have 600 requests from inside the city limits," Sgt. Tiffany Costa with the Police community engagement office said.

"I don't know anything but to give back," volunteer Lynette Taylor-Criego said.

Taylor-Criego knows what it means for someone in the community to help make Christmas special.

"When I was a young girl if there hadn't been people like this, my brothers and sisters may not have had Christmas," she told KDKA.

That's why she volunteers. She wants to make sure others are able to have a merry Christmas no matter their circumstances.

"I don't know if that's playing Santa or just being a good neighbor and just making sure a child has a gift," Taylor-Criego said.

This week they plan to have a coat distribution in Northview Heights.

The coats will be given out on Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. both days.

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