VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Dozens of Valdosta residents with special needs will have a few extra presents come Christmas.
Valdosta's Mayor and members of the fire department delivered donated Christmas gifts to the patients at the Parkwood Development Center Monday morning.
It was part of the Georgia Municipal Association's annual "Mayor's Motorcade" program, where cities across the state donate toys and gifts to local organizations during the holiday.
"Oh, my goodness. It's unbelievable how excited the patients get with the simplest gift, really. It's just amazin'; more people ought to come see this," said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle.
The toys and gifts used to be taken to state hospitals in South Georgia, but when those hospitals closed the city was forced to find another location.
"Our closest [state] hospital was Columbus or Savannah. We can't do that kind of motorcade," said Mayor Gayle. "we started thinkin' and workin' and we chose Parkwood because of the services they provide here in our local community."
Valdosta Fire Chief Freddie Broome said he was proud to be taking part in the event. "It sends the message that the city of Valdosta is a community department. We do support our community and we ensure that we do everything we can to give back the gift of givin' during this holiday season," Chief Broome stated.
Mayor Gayle said he hopes to be able to deliver toys and gifts to the development center again in 2015.