The spirit of Christmas filled the downtown square on Thursday evening.

Santas of every shape and style along with Mrs. Claus and elves came out to help children in need. These individuals are a part of a group called Lone Star Santas, which helps children who are the victims of natural disasters by providing them with toys.

“The Lone Star Santas have come together to do a toy drive for our Convoy of Toys for children that have been involved in disasters. We are collecting toys to take to give to the children after they have been in a disaster,” Lone Star Santa member Chuck Lee said. “The response has been good. We have 17 Santa’s here tonight, eight Mrs. Claus’s and a bunch of elves. We are all visiting with the children having a great time collecting toys.”

Lone Star Santas is a group that has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross to enter disaster areas as second responders. The cities that the group has helped include Lancaster, Cleburne, West, Possum Kingdom, Texas and Joplin, Mo.

The group is staffed by all volunteers and all the donations that are made to them go directly to help children affected by disasters.

There were many different Santas here for people to meet with. Some of the Santas wore western attire, while some looked like they had just come from spending a day at the beach. Other Santas in attendance looked like they had just come out of the workshop or just stepped out of the sleigh.

Lee said the people coming out for Thursday event from Waxahachie and the surrounding areas have been very generous bringing new toys, making monetary donations or donating gift cards. The donations that will be collected from this event will go to help the children of Moore, Okla. and other areas.

Activities included having pictures made with Santa, story time with Santa and taking part in different games with Mrs. Claus and the elves. The event also featured live entertainment and food from Chick-fil-A who was the food sponsor for the event.

Melissa Pond and her three children, Noelle, Anna Kate and Rose were in attendance.

 “We came out tonight to support Moore, Okla. and enjoy having Christmas in July with all of the Santas,” Pond said. “The event has been wonderful. There are helpers and elves everywhere. You can tell the community is out supporting everybody. So it is really cool.”

Pond said one of the activities that her children enjoyed taking part in was playing pass the presents with Mrs. Claus. The game is similar to hot potato but with a present. The present is passed around and the last person that has their hands on the gift gets a sucker as a prize.

Community relations manager  for the city of Waxahachie Amy Hollywood said it was great to have the community come out and support this organization mission of helping children.

For more information about Lone Star Santas, go to www.lonestarsantas.org.

Follow Andrew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at andrew.branca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451.