Santa Clara County Sheriffs play Santa in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of holiday gifts were handed out in an East San Jose neighborhood Friday night but the credit does not go to Santa Claus, it goes to Santa Paws.

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Three years ago around Christmas, a little girl on Madeline Drive had her bike stolen.
Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies responded but could not find the thief nor the bike.

When Christmas rolled around, the deputies decided to buy the girl a present.

They brought it to the apartment building where she lived and while the girl was very grateful. She wondered if her friends and neighbors could also have a gift?

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The deputies went to the nearest store and bought as many toys as they could and gave them out in the neighborhood.

Now, three years later, that small gesture has evolved into a block party known as Santa Paws.
Sgt. Jeremy Jones, who grew up in the same neighborhood, is one of four K9 units that spearhead the effort.

More than 600 toys were donated this year along with shoes, pizzas and a taco truck. Hundreds of families lined up hours in advance to be a part of the festivities.

A 15-year-old from Tracy received a special invitation to the party from the K9 unit. He's battling cancer and gets his treatments at Stanford. Sgt. Jones connected with him on Facebook and has been following his story.

The boy and his siblings were able to pick out presents with the other kids... plus a little something extra. Organizers got him a big screen!

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