PETERSBURG, Va. -- Blue lights and sirens replaced the sounds of Santa's reindeer on Christmas Eve in Petersburg.
Petersburg Police spent part of the afternoon before Christmas delivering toys and winter coats to children living in the city's hotels and motels.
"It's fantastic," one mother commented. "I know a lot of kids don't get a good Christmas and this is fantastic, I love it."
While the children enjoyed receiving their gifts, those who volunteered also got caught up in the Christmas spirit.
"It brings joy, to bring joy to other people," volunteer Peggy Hall said.
Petersburg Police Officer Josh Cuba said the event is a core mission of the department.
"Not only just protecting but just serving," Officer Cuba said. "Coming out here, interacting with the community, it's part of the reason I'm here, reason I'm a police officer."
As in year's past, Peterburg Police were supported by donations from Walmart, the Eagles Club of Petersburg, and citizens.