UNION, NJ – Santa made some very important visits during ‘Operation Gift Drop’ Friday afternoon.

"We had some special moments today," said Mayor Manuel Figueiredo.  "But none was more special than seeing the smiles on our children's faces.  I want to thank everyone who helped coordinate today's event, especially our firefighters and police.  I wish everyone the happiest of holidays."

“The best part about the Santa Drop today was seeing the children’s faces light up with excitement when Santa was standing in front of their door and knew their names,” said Committeewoman and soon-to-be Mayor Suzette Cavadas.  “It was so heartwarming to give back to the community and put a big smile on the children’s little, cute faces.”

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Originally set up for Santa to visit 25 families which was to be determined on a lottery basis, the Township received an overwhelming response.  Additional help was added so that over 100 Township children received a visit from Santa and his helpers.  Township firefighters and police escorted Santa to his various home visits, with help from Mayor Manuel Figueiredo, Deputy Mayor Cavadas Committeemen Clifton People, Jr. and Joseph Florio, and Committeewoman Michele Delisfort.

Cavadas said one three-year old asked if Santa could stay and bake cookies so he could take some back to the North Pole with him.  Santa received cookies and milk at many of the visits.

“This Santa Drop is so great,” said Committeeman (and Santa’s helper) Florio.  “Watching Santa go to all of these homes and seeing how excited the kids are.  It’s really been a wonderful time.  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas.”