CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Santa Claus brought holiday joy to dozens of local children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing on Tuesday.
Alexis Poe, 10, who has difficulty hearing, was on Santa’s lap at Northlake Mall when he asked her what she wanted for Christmas using sign language.
She told Channel 9 she signed to Santa what she wanted for Christmas.
"I said that I want Hatchimals for twins," the girl said.
Her mother, Mary Ann Franklin, is deaf.
Franklin said, through a translator, that her daughter had the opportunity to play games with other children who are deaf or have difficulties hearing.
Santa took a picture with every child, holding up three fingers, which in sign language means, “I love you.”
"It's a good experience for her to be able to understand and communicate with signing Santa," Franklin said.
The “Signing Santa” event was organized by the Charlotte Regional Center, a branch of the state that helps families who are deaf and hard of hearing. The center’s manager, Blaire McCorkle, said the event holds a special place in her heart. She remembers “Signing Santa” as a child.
“I've had this experience myself and to see the kids for them to be able to see Santa using the same language. It is just amazing," McCorkle said.
There were about 40 children who met with Santa. Some of the children were from Cotswold Elementary School, while others were from Cleveland County and the North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton.
McCorkle said her team works with the families throughout the year. She said that children can often feel isolated, which is why Tuesday's “Signing Santa” event gave those children a chance to get into the holiday spirit.
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