Jacksonville group makes Christmas happen for family in need

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In August, 4-year-old Mesha Farland saved her siblings from a fire by alerting the family to the flames that destroyed their home.

Today, the family, which was left with almost nothing, had Christmas come early, thanks to a group of classic car enthusiasts.

"There was a bunch of smoke everywhere," said Mesha. 

This past August, Mesha was called a hero. 

The hardships for the family weren’t behind them, as their beds and belongings were left behind in a house full of ash.

But almost four months later, things are turning around for Mesha’s family. 

A group called Jacksonville Area Mopars, which is an auto club for old Dodge muscle cars, brought Santa to her family.

"Every year, it’s a different family.  We keep an eye on Channel 4 or the news going on and see somebody that tragedy has struck their family, and they may not be able to give their kids the Christmas they deserve," said Jacksonville Mopar President Kevin Henry. 

The reindeer pulling in jolly old St. Nick were on four wheels for this car group instead of hooves, but the results were the same: a whole lot of food, clothes and toys as Christmas comes a few days early for a family that needs some holiday cheer.

"You get these kids that don’t know. We usually keep everything a secret from them.  So, when they see the cars pull in, flashing lights, the loud sounds, and then Santa Claus pops out. And they have a whole bunch of presents for Christmas morning, basically," said Henry. 

This is the eighth year the Jacksonville Area Mopars have brought Christmas to a family in need, and they say many of the families they’ve helped in the past come back each year to help future families.



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