Christmas has come early at Sharing Tree in Moore. The nonprofit's signature Christmas Connection program was forced to adapt.
"COVID(-19) has really changed everything for us," Sharing Tree executive director Tabitha Narvaiz said.
In order to ensure recommended social distancing, Christmas Connection has spread out the normally four-day event over a couple months.
More than 500-700 families on average make the trip to Moore to shop for toys and clothes for their children.
The program is planning to serve more than 800 families this year.
"We have seen an increase in need for our services but a decrease in volunteers," Narvaiz said.
For an organization that has only two paid employees, volunteers are vital.
"As they're walking that client around the store, they get to talk to them, they get to know their families," Narvaiz said.
"I come because, to me, these people here are my family," Sharing Tree volunteer Barbara Acock said.
Sharing Tree will be able to extend their reach to more families by increasing volunteers and donations.
Currently, there are around 100 families on their waiting list.
It’s nearly 100 families that could not only leave with a new toy or warm jacket, but also, some holiday hope.
"Especially right now, people are struggling, people are fearful and when they walk through this door, we want them to feel confident, we want to give them an atmosphere of respect and let them know that they're not alone,” Acock said.
The countdown to Christmas is on, but there's still time to help Sharing Tree. They're in need of toys, coats and financial donations.
If you're a business and would like to have a toy or clothing drive, they'll give you a drop box for that.
You can find more information on Sharing Tree here.