Santa pays special visit to children across Hampton Roads suffering from life-threatening illnesses

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Posted at 3:08 PM, Dec 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-12 22:27:49-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va.—Emergency responders and volunteers across Hampton Roads, from Newport News and Hampton to Portsmouth and Franklin, participated in the annual Edmarc Santa Run on Sunday.

Edmarc helps seriously ill children stay at home with their families whenever possible. The organization says it serves an average of 70 children per day.

Last year’s Santa Run was more of a low-key gift drop, but this year, it was back in full effect – lights and sirens - as they rolled up to the childrens' homes. Volunteers wore face masks to be especially cautious as they are interacting with medically-fragile children.

Three-year-old Raylin Emerson, who suffers from a rare liver disease, hopped right up on the bumper of the firetruck with Santa.

“It just makes me so happy,” said his mother, Christina Emerson. “We’ve had so much bad that’s happened. It just makes me happy!”

On Sunday, emergency responders helped deliver gifts to nearly 60 families. Edmarc gets a wish list for the children and their siblings. Organizers say they also have more they’ll deliver to families who couldn’t be home during the Santa Run.

For more information about Edmarc, click here.