Bay Co. Homeless Students Enjoy Lunch With Santa

Friday was a special day for some of bay county's homeless children as they took a field trip to meet Santa Claus!

There are more than 400 homeless children in the Bay School System right now. A portion of those students went to the visual arts center for lunch at the festival of trees.

Despite some of the setbacks they face on a daily basis, you wouldn't know it from the smiles on their faces as Santa presented them with presents! Each student gave ideas of some of their favorite things, and all of the gifts were bought to match those interests.

Volunteers from the 601st air operation center at Tyndall helped out and say they're delighted to make it a happier holiday for these children.

"It's hard to talk about. I mean, to see the kid's faces and how elated they become when they get their presents and they get to meet Santa and the little activities they do," said TSgt. Michael Riley, a volunteer.

"Definitely the smiles and happiness and being able to give and it costs so little to give so much," said SSgt. Robert Carnall.

Most of the gifts were donated through the toys for Kids Foundation.

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  • by Dixie Outlaw on Dec 8, 2008 at 03:06 AM
    I wish i could invite a homeless family to my home for Christmas dinner. My wife and I will be having Christmas by ourselves this year. We dont have a lot of money, but there will be plenty to eat. I just dont know how to go about something like this. I live in the Chattahoochee area.
  • by Ricky Location: Panama City Beach on Dec 6, 2008 at 01:09 AM
    I know there are many homeless in the area, I've always thought of the homeless as adults. I am shocked to learn that there are over 400 homeless school children. I wonder what the number would be if those that did not attend school were able to be counted. My heart truly goes out for these kids. This should never happen in America. Childhood memories should be some of the best memories we have and carry through life. It's so sad when I read or hear of a child being abused, neglected, etc... This honestly breaks my heart.
  • by SantaFan Location: USA on Dec 5, 2008 at 03:24 PM
    Kids can send Santa a letter at
8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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