“Holiday Wish Program” gives gifts to families in need

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Santa Claus came to town a few weeks early on Wednesday--singing with children from state department daycare centers. It's part of the 25th annual "Holiday Wish Program" gift drive in Harrisburg. The program gives gifts donated by state workers to more than 300 families in Pennsylvania who may be facing tough times this holiday season.

The National Guard loaded the wrapped presents onto their trucks and delivered them to county assistance offices where the gifts will be given out to families.

"When the children were all singing, they got a little distracted by staring at the bikes and the toys, it was pretty neat," Department of Welfare Secretary Bev Mackereth said, "So, this is a good way for the commonwealth, I think, to kick-off the Christmas holidays. "

The "Holiday Wish Program" was started in 1989 by a small group of workers from the Department of Human Services. Over the years, it has grown to include hundreds of employees in several departments.