(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A retired Haverhill police officer is considered the honorary Santa Claus in the city for helping families put presents under Christmas trees since 1988.
Osmond Hardy has been bringing cheer to hundreds of local families who may not have had Christmas otherwise.
Being a self-described "big kid" himself, Hardy made it his mission to make sure that children have at least one present to open during the holidays.
"It means a lot to me to know that the children are going to have something on Christmas morning to open up," Hardy told FOX 25's Nicole Jacobs.
At first, Hardy began helping 25 kids; however, as time passed, 25 turned into 900.
Hardy collects the gifts from other families, schools, and businesses throughout the area. Hardy collects everything from crayons and coloring books to board games.
"There's something for everybody, 8-years-old plus. There's things for 12-years-old plus," Hardy told FOX 25's Nicole Jacobs. "I'm a big kid at heart. I just want to help them."
© 2017 Cox Media Group.