PROSPECT – Santa Claus came to town on Christmas Eve to deliver gifts to the Jose family, who lost their father about a month ago.
Volunteers at the Prospect Fire Department sent Santa and about 10 helpers to the Jose home last week to give gifts to three-year-old twins Amelie and Evan and newborn Amanda. The children and their mother, Marilia Jose, moved to Prospect earlier this year before her husband, Brian, passed away.
“I was on the scene that night,” said Sue Claiborn, about the night Brian, 40, died of a heart attack. “Every call affects us as people, but some affect us more than others. This was one of those cases.”
Claiborn, who is a friend and neighbor to the Jose family, proposed the idea for Santa’s visit and spearheaded the project.
“[Marilia] gave us the kids’ wish list, and we filled it,” she said.
At their annual holiday party, the volunteers wrapped the gifts each person collected. They filled one large Santa bag, two large garbage bags and a box when they were all said and done.
“We wanted the kids to know that the holidays are joyous,” said volunteer Mark DeBiase.
Santa and his team pulled up to the Jose home on three fire trucks and one EMS vehicle. Amelie and Evan were greeted with Santa’s familiar “Ho, ho, ho” and “Merry Christmas!” before everyone headed inside to open gifts.
Marilia, moved to tears, thanked Mayor Bob Chatfield and volunteers for making her family feel welcome and loved in Prospect.