A high-flying Santa Claus waved to children during Miracle on 73rd Street in Manhattan on Wednesday.
The children who were waving from indoors have it harder this holiday.
Patients at local hospitals along with their families stay at Ronald McDonald House New York as temporary housing while they are visiting New York City and engaging in treatments at nearby hospitals.
"This is really amazing. We've never experienced anything like this,” Nga Lemoine, a parent, said.
Lemoine and her 7-year-old daughter, Elena, are from Maryland and are staying at Ronald McDonald House New York.
“Since we are away from home, this is really our second home right now and it’s magical and Santa is behind us, so how much fun is that?" Lemoine said.
Children and families from all over the country and the world stay at Ronald McDonald House New York on 73rd Street.
“We literally have a house with children who are immunocompromised and have not been able to go out because of the pandemic and we are bringing the holidays to them,” Ruth Brown, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House New York, said.
It was a team effort. The FDNY provided a bucket truck to get Santa to the children.
“They’re going through hell cancer treatments and everything like that just for a moment in their day to put a smile on their face and Mom and Dad’s face it’s hard for them too,” FDNY Lieutenant Bobby Jones said.
Jones and his fire house and the NYPD have worked with Ronald McDonald House for over 35 years.
The method of hoisting Santa up started during the pandemic, since Santa could not go into rooms with children.
“We ran this idea by them. ‘What [do] you say we take a fire truck out Santa in the bucket and bring him up to the windows,' Jones said, explaining the concept.
Officer PJ Conley was part of the team planning Miracle on 73 Street.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be able to bring smiles to all of these kids’ faces. These kids can’t go home on Christmas, can’t go home on the holidays and it’s an amazing feeling,” Conley said, sharing why he does it.
Kids in the community, like 8-year-old Elena Gonzalez, appreciate the festive visit from Santa.
“It’s very cool because he gets to wave at you and you get to speak to him and take photos,” Gonzalez said.
In addition, the children received many gifts.
Over $6,100 has been raised for the children and their siblings by the FDNY and NYPD through Fund the First.
The remaining funds will be donated to Ronald McDonald House New York.
Watch the full coverage on the NY1 website.
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