Volunteers buy gift for 1,000 Angelina Co. children

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – With $19,000 to spend, they started at 7 a.m., grabbing a list and they were off to the toy aisle.

"The clock didn't have to go off this morning, let's put it that way," Mildred Fuller said. "We were up and ready to go."

Money from the Manger Network, $2,000 from Walmart and donations from area businesses will buy more than 1,000 Angelina County children Christmas presents.

Fuller and her husband are beginners to the event, but with five grown kids of their own,what's shopping for a few more?

"Not much different from shopping for the family really," Fuller said.

But, picking out the right toy sometimes it takes a little work, even for Santa's helpers.

"We almost need an interpreter," Fuller said. "Toys have changed so much since ours were small, but it's fun."

Bruce Robinson, on the other hand, came with four kids to help her shop.

"It really helps put the reason for Christmas in perspective as to give to other people," Robinson said.

There's 33 children on every list and participants get to spend $25 per child, which means every item they put in their basket has to be added up carefully.

"Trying to stay within the limit is hard," Fuller said. "It really is because you see all these things and you want to get them and then they cost a little bit too much and you think, well could I pay the difference or whatever, and it doesn't work that way."

Robinson home-schools and used the experience to squeeze in some learning.

"We really enjoyed it and it's been great math lessons," Robinson said. "We have added and added and added."

"She was having me add up, see like one thing was seven dollars and one thing was 10, you had to add them all up," Robinson said.

"Taking the day from their school lessons and coming here and having a lesson, a life lesson, you know, you can't beat that," Love INC Executive Director Jerry Spann.

Seven-year-old Claire Robinson has definitely aced today's lesson.

"It's better to give than receive," she said.

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