ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Santa Claus made an early stop in Rockford today to help spread some holiday cheer to kids who need it the most right now.
Old Saint Nick stopped by the pediatric units in Rockford Memorial Hospital to pass out some early Christmas presents.
10-year-old Lindsey Grooms and 4-year-old Lindsey Johnson were especially excited to see the man in red. Santa filled us in on a little secret, the elves didn't make these particular goodies, instead, they were donated by hundreds of Stateliners.
"The Rockford Health System Foundation has a group called the ambassadors, which are business people from all over the community, who started the toy drive. They wanted to do something extra special for children at Christmastime, so it's been going on for a long time and getting bigger and bigger every year," said Marcia Stalter, a Child Life Specialist.
The RHS ambassadors tell us they raised more than $11,000 at this morning's toy drive.