Valley man says Christmas Angel program made his holidays memorable

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Trying to pay the bills and have enough to eat is how Devin Del Palacio remembers his childhood.

But somehow, he woke up each Christmas to find gifts under the tree. It wasn't until recently that he discovered his mom's secret: the 3TV Christmas Angel program.

"There were times when we were even without electricity or water," Del Palacio told us.

Even though she worked two jobs, Del Palacio's mom always made the holidays special.

"She said she talked to Santa and she said, 'Santa wants to know what you guys want,' and so we're just like, 'All right, cool.' So me and my sister, you know, we're describing what we want. I think i wanted a monster truck and my sister asked for a Barbie," he recalled.

Years later, Del Palacio wondered, "How were we able afford these gifts when we weren't able to afford food?"

And that's when he discovered his mom's secret: his name was among the thousands hanging on 3TV Christmas Angel trees.

"It created a lot of long-lasting, happy moments waking up on Christmas morning," he said.

Today, Del Palacio is a career adviser with Goodwill. His office is a few feet away from the Christmas Angel warehouse, where all the toys and food are stored.

"It's coming full circle. I'm working in the back of Santa's workshop, so I thought that was pretty neat," he said.

Now, Del Palacio feels fortunate he's able to help others.

"Someone did it for me. Now I'm going to return the favor," he said.