Vidalia group helping brighten Christmas for children in need

Vidalia group helping brighten Christmas for children in need

VIDALIA, Ga. (WTOC) - A small group in Vidalia will make a big difference this Christmas for hundreds of local children. They’re getting gifts together to brighten the holidays.

A warehouse has become the Toombs County branch of the North Pole as volunteers come together to provide Christmas to nearly 500 local children who wouldn't have it otherwise.

Wrapped gifts fill the shelves and bicycles fill the floor. Deidre Barnett says she and others from “Toombs Bikes for Kids” got referrals from local teachers and wish lists from children in need.

“One little 8-year-old boy wanted a new toothbrush, some socks and a blanket. If that don’t break your heart, I don't know what will. I still get teary eyed thinking about it,” Barnett said.

They find people or businesses that contribute. Some give money, others buy gifts to donate.

“All of our children will receive a bicycle, a helmet. They'll be receiving shirts including a hooded sweatshirt; a Bible,” Barnett said.

Local attorney Frank Smith started the drive last year. Smith also leads a team to give out bookbags and supplies at the start of the school year.

“Smith actually was able to buy two stores that were going out of business and that's how we're able to have so many of each thing,” Barnett said.

She says the reward comes when families come to pick up their children's gifts just a few days before Christmas.

The group is still looking for volunteers to help assemble bikes and wrap packages.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.