NORTH PORT (FOX 13) - Krissy Greco's Christmas shines a little brighter this year, despite it being one of the hardest of her life.
"I didn't know what was going to happen," she said.
Two months ago, at age 27, doctors diagnosed her with stage 4 cancer. The first thing on her mind was her children.
"Kingston is 5, Naomi is 6 and Jerricka is 4. They are my reason for everything. For being so strong and everything I have to do," she said.
Weekly doctor's visits and treatments fill Krissy's schedule. She didn't have much time for Christmas until Santa's elves - in the form of North Port police officers - showed up at her door.
"They had Santa hats on and brought up gifts for the kids," she said.
The elves brought bikes, groceries, TVs and a pile of presents. North Port officers worked with members of the community to collect donations just before December 25 rolls around. They are ready to pull off "Operation Santa Surprise."
This yea,r they collected $6,000 in donations and were able to help up to seven families.
"It spreads like wildfire, with people starting to come to us asking how we can help. They are strangers to these families and to us," said Officer Joseph Fussell.
Officers find the families they will help through community members and those they come in contact with daily.
"To be able to have this positive contact with our community, it's why we do our job," said Officer Fussell.
Over the years, this special kind of Christmas spirit has captured the hearts of local business owners, like Mike Morales of Quality TV.
"I leave with knowing that I've touched somebody, someone that I wouldn't have touched any other way in that manner," he said.
For families like Krissy's, this day gives them something positive to focus on and to never forget.
"Such a great weight has been lifted on her shoulders, has put so much more of an emphasis of enjoying the holiday instead of worrying about the financial end of it. It's wonderful," said Krissy's mom, Kerry Greco.