By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 5, 2018
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Christmas came early in Valdosta as fire and city officials gave out gifts for the Mayor's Motorcade.
From under the tree to into new hands, the Valdosta Fire Department brought toys and fun surprises to dozens of residents at the Parkwood Development Center.
"This event is about inspiring lives, bringing cheer and smiles to the citizens here, and at the same time showing love and support," said Chief Freddie Broome with the Valdosta Fire Department.
Mayor John Gayle teamed up with VFD, collecting donations for about one month. For the last three years, the donations have stayed locally to support the Parkwood Development Center.
"It just really touches me in the heart," said Administrator Susan Boone. "To see our clients, to see them smile, to see them light up, is something that's just very heartwarming. It's very touching, all of our clients are here because we become their family."
On Wednesday, the residents also had a chance to check out the fire truck, some even taking a seat inside.
Organizers said the Mayor's Motorcade is about much more than presents.
"We want the community to know that we're here for you, not just in times of emergency but we're here for you at all times, to impact lives and make a difference in lives," Broome said. "Whether it's dressing up and making someone smile or giving someone a gift, just doing different things in the community, showing that we're a community department and we're here for you."
This is the third year the motorcade has given gifts to the Parkwood Development Center. Officials said they hope it continues to grow to include more centers in the future.