Mad Ants, Indiana Pacers brightening Christmas for children through Fort Wayne Victim’s Assistance

Fighter pilots, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and other characters from the "Star Wars" franchise wait to find a new home. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Pink and purple toy dog carriers are among the Christmas gifts. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Bags wait to be filled with toys for Christmas. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
The 31-inch "Star Wars" Stormtroopers are a bit dwarfed by this miniature Christmas tree. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
"Star Wars" Stormtroopers appear to be on guard. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel)
Children served through the Fort Wayne Police Department's Victim's Assistance will get some moments of joy, thanks to the Santa's Workshop Christmas gifts from Indiana Pacers and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
The hallway at Victim's Assistance is lined with toys. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
A peek inside "Santa's Workshop" at Victim's Assistance shows some of the toys. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
The white "Star Wars" Stormtroopers provide a stark contrast to the colorful toys on a table in a room at Victim's Assistance. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of

The “Star Wars” Stormtroopers are lined up against the wall, but they’re sure to draw smiles on some children’s faces.

The 31-inch tall toys are part of the donations to Santa’s Workshop made by the Indiana Pacers and its affiliate in the NBA G-League, the Fort Wayne Ants.

This is the third year for Santa’s Workshop for children served by the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Victim’s Assistance Office in the Rousseau Centre, 1 E. Main St.

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The office helped 6,800 people last year, said Jessica Crozier, Victim’s Assistance Office director. The office guides crime victims to services available to them and informs them of their rights.

Parents are amazed that not only are they getting help but Christmas gifts for their children as well, Crozier said.

Staff will ask the parents what their needs are for their children and will fill up large white plastic bags with the gifts they need, she said.

“Star Wars” characters, including Greedo and Han Solo, line the hallway and a room and a few tables are filled with bright purple and pink Lulu & Me puppy fabric carriers, princess dresses and other toys.