Santa is off to an earlier start this holiday season.
A Fort Lauderdale-based airline gave Santa a lift to the Bahamas, where he delivered gifts to children who were affected by the devastating Hurricane Dorian.
More than a hundred children of all ages welcomed Santa with Christmas carols and cheer as he drew smiles and laughter from students at schools in Moore’s Island and Great Habour Cay.
The children took turns sitting on St. Nicholas’ lap for a wrapped gift and photo.
“We, the community of Moore’s Island, just want to take this time to thank Tropic Ocean Airways, Blue Tide Marine along with GEM (Global Empowerment Mission), for coming today and to make this Christmas season so special for the children of this community,” said Chief Councilor Dalson Cecil Stuart, Moore's Island District Council.
Hurricane Dorian crept through that area with sustained winds of 185 mph in September, leaving behind a path of flattened buildings and massive flooding. Officials say the death toll currently stands at 70, but hundreds of undocumented residents may have drowned and washed out to sea.
Tropic Ocean Airways were among the first on the ground to help with relief efforts, partnering with several organizations to bring water, food and medical supplies to the island.
Nearly four months after the storm, recovery is still slowly underway in Great Abaco. Every structure on this island remains visibly damaged or destroyed, according to NBC News.