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Volunteers Bring Holidays to Kids in Need

Santa Claus visited families in need earlier this month thanks to local volunteers.

Christmas came early for special needs and military children in Fairfax this year.

Thanks to time and goods donated by the American Legion Unit 85 and Easter Seals kids in need as well as their families spent some quality time with Santa Claus on Dec. 8. The party, held at the Centreville Moose Lodge in Fairfax, provided arts and crafts and lunch, but more importantly, a day of cheer for families struggling to provide for their children.

"The goal of the event is to provide families with a day without stress, worry, or concerns," said Andy Krauss, spokesman for Easter Seals. "For some this will be their only Christmas."

Easter Seals’ Respite Services offers support for families with children who have severe disabilities. This challenge proves even more difficult for military families trying to maintain a healthy, stable household while serving the country.

“We appreciate this program and what it does for families,” said Cassidy Norman, a naval aviator based at the Pentagon and father of 9-year-old Marisa and 3-year-old Chase. “Not only does it provide incredible respite care, but also helps us make connections to other families that understand what we are going through. As a military family we have to move a lot. This is a nice way to meet other folks inour position.”

Know of a person or organization helping out this holiday season? Submit information and photos to whitney@patch.com.

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