Most people probably panic when fire truck sirens come down their quiet street, but for one North Coventry neighborhood, the sirens heralded a special visitor on a mission.
Professional Santa Dutch Schrap brought an early Christmas surprise to a local family on Friday night through an initiative he started this year called Operation Nine Reindeer.
Jim and Cathy and their five-year-old daughter Cassie needed some holiday spirit this year - Jim is battling stage 4 brain cancer. He has already endured surgery and is undergoing chemotherapy twice a week.
"Santa! Santa! Merry Christmas!" Cassie told him.
After a round of hugs, Santa came inside the family's home to hand out presents.
Schrap collected donations over the last several weeks including toys and a birthday party at Arnold's Family Fun Center for Cassie, a Reading Fightin' Phils pool party, and several toys. Jim and Cathy also received, among many other things, four tires for their car from CJ's Tires, movie passes from the Movie Tavern and some gift certificates to area restaurants.
The family knew they were getting a visit from Santa, but had no idea of the generosity of everyone who has donated to Operation Nine Reindeer.
While taking family photos with Santa, Cassie turned to her mom. "Mommy, are you crying?"
"A little bit," Cathy said. "They're happy tears."