Santa arrives at children's hospital in armored personnel carrier, thanks to local sheriff's deputies

Santa arrived early – and in an armored carrier, no less – at a children's hospital in Nebraska.

Mr. Claus had a might fancy ride as he rolled up to the Nebraska Medical Center in a convoy of Douglas County Sheriff's cruisers, all with lights blazing and sirens wailing.

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The deputies came bearing holiday gift cards and a lot of Christmas cheer for the kids whose temporary home is now a hospital room.

"A lot of kids have organ transplants, or are cancer patients, and some have traumatic injuries, hospital spokeswoman Jenny Nowatzke told

"These kids are in really bad shape and their parents don't have a lot of money." So with the gift cards, moms and dad can buy what their children desire for Christmas and "tell them it can from Santa," she said.

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There were 24 children eagerly awaiting the dramatic appearance of Santa on Saturday. Some had lost their hair to chemo, some were tethered to IV stands, and some were asleep.

But most were very happy to see the deputies and their bearded, red-suited guest.

It's something the sheriff's department looks forward to as well.

"They love giving back," Nowatzke said of the deputies. "I think sometimes it's more fun for them than it is for the kids."

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