TAYLOR, Mich. - The kids attending the Penrickton Center for Blind Children received a special gift on Friday.
A stop by Jolly Ole' Saint Nick. But more on that in a moment.
The kids at the center have very unique toys catered to their needs. Because blind and multi-disabled children require special tools and toys to learn, the program seeks out items that fit that niche. It's not exactly stuff you can purchase at any department store.
"You'll see some toys that might be unusual. Maracas or musical instruments, things that you can't find at your local Walmart or what used to be Toys "R" Us and things of that nature. So we have a lot of unique toys that are specifically designed to get our children to interact with them," said Kurt Sebaly, of the Penrickton Center for Blind Children.
The Taylor-based center has been open since 1957 and has run completely on donations. The non-profit's current need is a carpet renovation, which will come with the help of the Dearborn Fire Department, who hosts its annual burn drive to help kids who have been victims of fires, sick or dealing with other challenges.
Seems like a perfect fit doesn't it?
"We spend thousands and thousands of dollars. It's just all of the money we raise throughout the year like this place here, they're putting in new carpet and I think it was $7,000 so we're writing them a check for that so just things like that - it all adds up," said Chief Steve Worden. "But it comes from all the hard work throughout the year."
The Dearborn Fire Department has known Sebaly for a while, which catalyzed the arrangement.
And it was taken to another level Friday when Santa Claus stopped by to treat the kids to a holiday surprise. And yes, he brought presents.
"It's always a fun event, they bring great gifts and what's interesting about the Dearborn firefighters is they bring a lot of new people. That's education for people in the area who've never been here and may have never heard of our services or the people. It's a chance to improve what the world sees and how we work with the children," said Sebaly.
The gifts included several of those specialized toys perfect for the kids. Not a dry eye was insight either.