Christmas comes early with flight to the North Pole

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – How do you get to the North Pole?

Well if you’re Santa, you get a sleigh.

But for 60 kids and their parents, it takes a bus ride to an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, and then a quick flight.

“We bring these children here to show them love, show them hope, show them what the magic of Christmas is all about,” Queen Elf, Marianne Breland said.

This is the 11th flight that the National Air Guard’s 172nd Airlift Wing has helped sponsor with Y101 and Salvation Army.

The children were chosen from the Salvation Army’s angel tree.

“We couldn’t do it without people in the community coming and adopting these angels first and foremost. And then we get the easy, fun part,” volunteer elf, Kim Varnell said.

“When you have the back of the plane comes down and all of the kids get to see the elves and Aanta, that’s my favorite part. Just the smiles on their faces,” Nate West with Y101 said.

Though the flight is simulated, the reactions from the children and parents were genuine.

“I didn’t think I was going to be able to give him a Christmas, so this really means a lot to me,” one parent said.

“These specific kids will have something that they can go back whether they’re 10-years-old, 16, 20, they’ll always remember this night,” Lt. Matt Hedgren of the Salvation Army said.

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