Santa flies in for military families

Santa arrives at Camp Pendleton, Dec. 9. Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen. On Comet, on Cupid, on Donnet and Blitzen…” That might be the usual way Santa flies in Christmas Eve, but not Dec. 9 at Camp Pendleton. On that afternoon, Santa flew in on a UH-1N helicopter, also known as a “Huey,” to greet the military families on base at Camp Pendleton courtesy of the National Charity League’s Temecula Valley Chapter, a philanthropy partner with Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton at the HMLA-267 Stinger Christmas Party Santa Fly in.

National Charity League’s Temecula Valley Chapter hosted a craft station at the Stinger Christmas Party Santa Fly-In event alongside popcorn- and donut-making stations. The families enjoyed live music, food and artistic face painting.

“It’s such an honor to be on base to experience this festive event with the HMLA-267 Stinger Family. There was a great sense of pride and gratitude throughout the day. As mother-daughter volunteers, we felt like we were a part of the military family, the Marines welcomed us like we were their own,” a Patroness or mother member said.

National Charity League is a nonprofit national organization of mother and daughter members in chapters across the United States. One of the Temecula Chapter’s missions is to work with the military and partnering with Camp Pendleton. Mothers and daughters at the event had the opportunity to get to know the families on base.

One 6-year-old boy told a Ticktockers or daughter members how excited he was to see his father as he sat and made a beaded candy cane ornament. That morning as he made his way to the festivities under the hanger, he said he saw his dad fly over in a helicopter, and he waved with excitement to his father from afar. He was looking forward to seeing his dad face to face. He said that his dad is often gone at work, so he doesn’t get to see his dad often even when they are both on base.

“Stories like this fills our hearts with gratitude. Words cannot express the gratitude we have to all the military that serve our country. It is an honor for NCL, Inc., Temecula Valley Chapter to continue to have a partnership with our local military,” Jennifer Nguyen, president of the Temecula chapter said.

Through the mother-daughter relationship, National Charity League works to develop strong women leaders, serving and impacting communities today and for generations to come.

National Charity League’s Temecula Valley Chapter is currently holding their annual membership drive. Mothers and current sixth grade daughters are welcome to join the 2018-2019 year by inquiring on their website,, about how to find a sponsorship.

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