SEATAC, Wash. – Twelve days before Christmas and more than 100 students from the West Seattle area are not waiting for Saint Nick. Instead, they are heading to him.
The West Seattle area children embarked on a journey of a lifetime Tuesday: A trip to the North Pole. It is the sixth year, but the first time Delta Airlines is teaming with the YMCA to send the students on this trip.
The students hail from West Seattle Elementary and Concord International Elementary, where 85 percent of the students qualify for free or discounted lunch.
“Over half the kids have never been to the airport, let alone getting on a plane and coming to the North Pole. It’s amazing – biggest smiles I’ve seen all year,” Erica Mullen, of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, said.
The plane never leaves the ground, but taxis to a Delta airport hangar transformed into Santa’s village. There, Santa passes out presents to each student.
“Everyone received something they requested from Santa today,” Delta’s Erin Maude said. “It’s something to make it more magical and something they may not otherwise have.”