HOLBROOK - A Holbrook man is on a very special mission playing the role of Santa for some special needs children this Christmas.

For the past 12 years, Joey Nuccio has been choosing families with special needs or terminally ill children and showering them with love and presents on Christmas Eve. He started his mission after his mother died on Christmas 13 years ago. The project has since become a labor of love for the retired nurse and disabled firefighter.

"I wanted to do something that was really good for them," Nuccio said. "Make it a really wonderful and magical Christmas that they would never forget."

Nuccio also says that he would not be able to perform his deeds without the help of his family and friends.

This year's gifts went to a Bayport family with two children, one of whom is terminally ill.