Santa trades in his sleigh for a red fire engine

Karns, Knox County (WVLT) -- Firefighters are always helping the community and Saturday was no different as the Karns Volunteer Fire Department hosted its annual Santa toy drive.

Each year they load up their trucks with bags of toys, each tagged with a little ones names.

"It's just a real good feeling this time of year to help some people," said Randy Perry, a Karns firefighter.

"It's nice getting to help them on a happy note instead of a sad note like we normally do," said Karns firefighter Andrew Tinsley.

The day started with Santa hopping on the engine as it pulled out of station number one.

It then traveled from house to house as the jolly man in red passes out his sacks of toys.

In all they handed out toys to 101 kids who's parents were struggling financially.

"Anytime you pull up and Santa pops out of the fire truck, eyes get about 6 inches around and they just love it," said Tinsley. "The community did a great job supporting us this year."

The parents and the children were beside themselves with excitement and joy.

For a single mother who's had a tough year, it's a dream come true.

"This year has been a difficult time and this is just unbelievable," said Jolene Henderlight.

A very out of breath Santa who's been doing the ride for 3 years said he gives gifts for one reason only, to give back to the community and take care of the kids.

"We really appreciate it,” said Henderlight. “Thank you from all of us, from the bottom of our heart, Merry Christmas."

Firefighters say this year was the biggest Santa’s Toy Drive yet and they've been doing it for more than a decade.

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