Santa Claus got a jump on his Christmas rounds this year with a sojourn in the Caribbean, courtesy of Canadian airline WestJet.
The airline teamed up with Canadian charity Live Different to buy personalized gifts for the community of Nuevo Renacer near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.
Residents were asked to name an item they wanted this holiday season to a virtual, purple-clad Santa, who greeted them through a screen built into a giant sleigh placed in the small town. They were then treated to a Christmas party, where WestJet employees presented them with each of the items they had asked for, including a washing machine, crib, doll house and a horse. It also unveiled a playground at a local school.
WestJet is hoping to follow up the wild success of last year’s ‘Christmas Miracle’ campaign, in which the airline bought personalized gifts for a flight of unsuspecting passengers and garnered nearly 37 million YouTube views. The company put together a similar project in June for Father’s day, re-uniting a sick son with his father.