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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “They get so excited to see me ’cause I’m just like them.”

That’s how “Signing Santa” Gary Davis feels about the deaf students who come to see him at Northpark Mall.

For 20 years the Northwest OKC Rotary Club has made a Signing Santa available for students.

Erica Moore, a teacher from Yukon, says it’s such a great program because the kids can tell Santa what they want…their own way.

“There’s no communication barriers. They don’t have to use an interpreter; they are free to use their own language,” Erica said.

Like young Julian Portwood, who told us through an interpreter, “I want a big monster truck, and I also want a watch.”

Photo goes with story
“Signing Santa” Gary Davis communicates with a local youngster who is deaf.

And this year, some kids brought letters for Santa to read.

“We do have some that don’t have enough sign language ability to sign all of their intention,” says Kara Ginn.

Kara is a Deaf Education Specialist for the Mid-Del School District.

“So, we wrote letters so Santa can read and know what they want for Christmas still,” Kara said.

Five schools were able to make Thursday’s event at the mall, including the Oklahoma School for the Deaf from Sulphur.

It’s a great way to give these children, facing challenges others kid don’t have to endure, a way to feel a special part of the Christmas season.

The Signing St. Nick expressed it best: “I enjoy being here so much, to make the children happy.”