PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - A group of volunteers in Paris, Illinois are giving hours of their time this week to make sure less-forunate kids in the area have a gift to open during the holidays.
"Christmas for Kids" in Paris has been collecting and delivering presents for kids in the Edgar county area since 2006. The group has only grown since and organizers say this week has been a huge undertaking. Volunteers at Christmas for Kids in Paris call it "Santa's Workshop."
"Greater than five thousand presents are leaving this facility" organizer Dawn Kirby says.
Christmas for Kids has been collecting toys and other monetary donations all year to give less fortunate families presents to open during the holidays. Now dozens of volunteers gather to wrap, and deliver, the presents at Lakeridge Christian Church. Organizer Dawn Kirby says unfortunately she sees a growing need for the program every year.
"Over the years it has grown. It started in 2006 and we are now serving upwards of 700 children this year" Kirby says.
Families like Kandee Kelly's in Paris that have had a hard year financially say they don't know what the holidays would look like without the program.
"Actually I think it would be kind of sad because a lot of people really need it because I know there is people that are off worse than what we are that really needs it" gift receipient Kandee Kelly says.
Volunteers say this year volunteers have joined that were assisted by Christmas for Kids in the past.
"Young women who have been single parents who were unable to do for their kids and then they've bettered themselves by going back to school or maybe gotten married and maybe something has changed in their life and they say 'you helped me can I please be a part of helping'" Kirby says.
Organizers say shopping for next year's toy drive begins the day after Christmas. They say they are able to use monetary donations and get up to four times the value in toys for the next year