HIALEAH (CBS4) – Christmas arrived early Friday for hundreds of underprivileged kids in Hialeah who were treated to a big holiday party and an early visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

It was the city’s annual Toy Drive which took place at the Wilde Community Center. More than 400 children from 14 schools were invited to attend and each and every child went home with a gift. For some of these children; it could be the only gift they receive this holiday season.

“Christmas means a lot to me,” said one child. “What I like about Christmas is all the smiling faces and presents,” said 8-year-old Alyssa Gonzalez.

The toy drive is a way for city employees to give back and make a difference for these underprivileged children.

“The kids are chosen by the schools themselves because they know which children’s families are having the most difficult times this time of year so we want to make that we give them the best Christmas season possible,” said Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina.

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in style on board the City of Hialeah’s antique fire truck with their friends Frosty and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The children were also treated to demonstrations from the Hialeah Police Department’s K9, and SWAT Teams.

The faces of the kids lit up with joy during the event especially when they received their presents.

“I think it’s a really great holiday party. Jesus was born and we get together and celebrate it,” said student Elijah Cruz.

Nine-year old Katherine Gonzalez agrees. “Every child is going to get a gift. Really? We’ll I’m very thankful for that.”

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