Crystal Bonner was grateful as she received gifts for her children from the Christmas Store on Friday.
“It means a lot to me,” she said. “Without this, my kids wouldn’t have anything for Christmas. Now, they’ll have something to bring smiles to their faces.”
The Christmas Store is an outreach to provide assistance to area families during the holiday season.
On Friday morning, parents arrived at First Baptist Church of North Augusta’s Family Life Center to pick up gifts for their children.
The gym was filled with small piles of gifts, each separated by the recipient families. In addition to the gifts, families also received a bag of paper products donated by Kimberly-Clark and bread donated by Pepperidge Farm, said Louvenia Mathews, who helps coordinate the effort.
“It’s awesome,” she said of the community support. “People recognize the reason for the season as well as the need to sponsor kids in our community.”
This year, the outreach was able to provide gifts for more than 530 children thanks to local donors, said Mathews.
Many who donated to the effort do so each year, she added.
“There are people who can’t wait for this time of year to sponsor again,” she said.
Brooke Nichols was among the parents who were present to pick up gifts.
“I’m a single parent and I don’t have that much for my son,” she said.
“I wanted to make sure his second Christmas was filled with joy. Thanks to people who donated, he will and I really appreciate it.”
It’s a gesture she wants to be able to show to others as well.
“If I had it, I would do the same,” she said. “Everyone needs help every now and again … I know if I can help someone else, I will do it.”