VAN, TX (KLTV) - A convoy of about 25 Santas entered Van Saturday to bring Christmas cheer early.
The Lone Star Santas (LSS) presented 3,000 toys as disaster relief items to the children of Van.
Hundreds of family members met the team of Santas in the Van Middle School gym. Children chose from a wide array of new items including stuffed animals, dolls, books, basketballs and board games.
LSS travels across the country providing charity relief to children in cities affected by natural disasters.
LSS volunteer Clem Webb said their goal is to bring hope, love and joy to children.
"All of us saw on the news the absolute devastation from the tornado, and the fact that it hit one of their schools was a big deal because that has immediately to do with children," said Webb. "Regardless of their age, when they're around Santa there's a certain amount of innocence that just comes forward ... oozes."
One of the "Mrs. Clauses," Susan Portwood, said toys are often a forgotten part of disaster relief.
"They are usually the ones in the community that are kind of pushed to the back because everybody's looking for food and water and clothing," said Portwood. "The children have lost everything in a lot of cases."
Approximately 500 Van residents attended Saturday's toy giveaway.
Paul Fanning, LSS volunteer, said that all of the toys they have in storage were set to be distributed in Van and they will need to collect more toys for their next charity effort.
LSS is currently accepting toy donations for an anticipated convoy to Central Texas for the flood victims living there.
For more information, visit: http://www.lonestarsantas.org