DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WEHT)- He may not have had any reindeer, nor did he go down a chimney. He didn’t even have a plate of cookies to snack on, but Santa made a special appearance in Dawson Springs, just days after the town was devastated by a tornado.

Santa says he has a special connection to the area and wanted to come down to deliver gifts and hope to children after the storms. He says God has allowed him to do this, help those in need, and deliver a little Christmas cheer. He says it can’t describe the feeling he got going around the Hopkins County community Wednesday afternoon.

But with his reindeer back in the North Pole, Santa needed a new ride- courtesy of the Morganfield Police Department. Chief Geoff Deibler says the department is “designed to build people up.” Deibler says he and others were inspired by Emilee White, a Dawson Springs girl who opened presents outside her family’s home over the weekend.

Deibler says they decided to start a toy drive that raised $10,000 in just two days. Deibler says disaster has brought them together, but they hope to form a lifelong bond with Emilee and her father, Chad Lee White. White says seeing his girls open presents brought tears to his eyes.