NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A decision made four years ago by Nacogdoches non-profits is today benefiting hundreds of needy families. They collaborated in something called Christmas Blessings.
The event makes sure everyone receives their fair share.
"This is my favorite day," said Laura Williford, Love in the Name of Christ's officer manager.
Love in the Name of Christ volunteers transformed the Nacogdoches County Civic Center into a Christmas store. Everything was free. Gift items for over 600 children fill the room.
"Toys for Tots also helps provide some of the toys," Williford said. "The churches provide the toys and the staff takes some of the monetary donations and goes and buys the toys and we try to make sure there are three gifts per child."
Months in advance, Love INC screens each and every applicant. Volunteers from all walks of life helped out on distribution day. Pastor Gene Tatum of the Among Friends Cowboy Church shared his emceeing skills.
"Our first drawing will be for our first tree to be given away this hour," Tatum said. "I'll go all the way to the bottom of the bowl."
Walmart donates Christmas trees. Leeosha Collins was a winner. The biggest prize is the happiness she'll see on the faces of her three children.
"And that's all they've been talking about is a Christmas tree, so they're going to be super excited," Collins said.
Collected can goods from Bancorp South Insurance filled food boxes for another door prize. All the while, personal shoppers helped parents select gifts, which dads raising little girls really appreciate.
Agencies notice families strapped for money get behind on rent and utilities following Christmas.
"Because mama and daddies are gonna buy Christmas for their babies," said Patti Goodrum, Love INC's director. "I understand that; however, if they can work with us then we can help them not miss or get behind in their regular bills.
And come the first of the year, that's truly a Christmas Blessing.
Christmas Blessings is over for 2015, but planning and fundraising for 2016 have already begun.