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PHOENIX -- Santa Claus and dozens of his uniformed helpers brightened the holidays Thursday for some very special children in south Phoenix.

Phoenix police officers delivered gifts they paid for out of their own pockets to the children at Hacienda Healthcare Center.

The department has made the special delivery for 23 years.

The children here have developmental issues, suffered traumatic injuries or have other medical issues. Officer Mercedes Fortune said the gift-giving leaves her with an amazing feeling.

"Seeing it just warms my heart. It puts everything in perspective with me being a mom," she said.

It's the fifth year delivering toys for Sgt. Scott McCauley. He said it took on a new meaning after the tragic events last Friday in Connecticut with the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"Most of us have kids of our own and it warms the soul to give back," he said.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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