DETROIT (FOX 2) - It's probably one of the most heartwarming stories you'll see every holiday season -- a group of around 80 sick or terminally ill children get to visit Santa in the north pole. But one man who has a direct line to Santa says this year, they are going to need a little help.
For decades, the Silver Liners, which is a group of retired eastern flight attendants, along with Delta airlines and volunteers have brought joy and excitement to around 80 very ill children every holiday season. With approval from their doctors, the kids get to fly to the North.
"The boys and girls get put on the plane here in Detroit and the pilot tells the boys and girls they have to close their window shades because it is very bright in the North Pole," said volunteer Bill Neelsen.
With the window shades shut, the roar of the engines and a trip down the runway, children get the sensation of take-off. After lunch on the plane, they arrive at the Westin Hotel and a Christmas party like no other.
Each of the kids receive a huge goody bag filled with toys and gifts, donated by merchants and sponsors and anyone looking to bring smiles to terminally ill children, who may not get the chance to experience another Christmas.
"The faces on the boys and girls are really cool and Santa has informed me if they can take 5 seconds of their pain and problems away from them, then that's what it is all about," Bill said.
In the meantime, Bill who collects the donations and buys the toys for Santa, is in constant contact, making sure every child who can make it December 18 gets the Christmas they deserve.
"I am looking forward to seeing all the boys and girls from Detroit and we are going to have a great time," Santa says.
You can donate to the amazing experience -- payable to William Neelson/Flight to the North Pole, 25081 Richard, Taylor, MI 48180. You can contact (734) 403-1689. The deadline to submit donations is November 15.