Holiday Help Given To Metro Grandparents Raising Grandkids - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Holiday Help Given To Metro Grandparents Raising Grandkids

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Hundreds of eager families packed into the halls of the Presbyterian church Saturday morning, waiting anxiously for gifts they weren't sure would make it under their trees this year. Hundreds of eager families packed into the halls of the Presbyterian church Saturday morning, waiting anxiously for gifts they weren't sure would make it under their trees this year.
The event is a partnership of groups like Sunbeam family services, Oklahoma City Police and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office for 15 years running. The kids ask for gifts and Santa, with a little help, makes their wishes come true. The event is a partnership of groups like Sunbeam family services, Oklahoma City Police and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office for 15 years running. The kids ask for gifts and Santa, with a little help, makes their wishes come true.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Hundreds of eager families packed into the halls of the Presbyterian church Saturday morning, waiting anxiously for gifts they weren't sure would make it under their trees this year.

“It was a big surprise to them and it means a lot," Carrie Harris, 70, said.

Harris has spent the last five years taking care of her four grandchildren between the ages of 5 and 8.

"Once you have your children grown and gone you never expect to keep them full time," she said.

Harris, like the others was forced to take care of her grandchildren. For many grandparents their own children were out of the picture, mostly through incarceration and drug use, but all were unable to care for their kids.

"To me it's very important for them to know who they are, to know that they're loved," Harris said, holding a bag of gifts in one hand and four winter coats in the other.

The event is a partnership of groups like Sunbeam family services, Oklahoma City Police and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office for 15 years running. The kids ask for gifts and Santa, with a little help, makes their wishes come true.

"They don't ask for big expensive toys. They ask for stuff they need. Some of them will say, ‘I don't want anything for me, but I do want something for my little brother.’ It just breaks your heart," Sheriff John Whetsel said.

In the end, those here say the gifts that really count aren't found in those red bags, but in the community, that helped make a tough time a year just a little easier.

“More important even than the gifts that are received is the encouragement. The grandparents receive visible evidence that they are not alone," Sunbeam CEO Jim Priest said.

In all more than 600 gifts were given out paid for by donations collected all throughout the year totaling close to $24,000.

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