by: Kristen Guilfoos
Amarillo, Texas - It started as a way to help one needy family, and it's now blossomed into one of the largest charities in our area.
The Eveline Rivers Christmas Project turned 30 years old this weekend... And over those three decades, they've made nearly 100,000 needy Panhandle children have a merrier Christmas.
The weekend began with 1,300 volunteers showing up at the warehouse in Amarillo.
They spent several hours loading up cars full of presents donated from the community... And then drove around town to make the deliveries to 8,160 children.
Children who received Christmas presents this year thanks to people like John Scott, who volunteered with the Eveline Rivers Project for the first time this year. He says, "There's no words to explain. These people have very very very little and we have everything and we get to share a little bit of something with them. Puts a smile on their face and that's all I need."
The recipients are referred to the Christmas project throughout the year... By people like teachers and counselors, who recognize that these kids are in need, especially at Christmas.
Rivers says, "These are families many times that have fallen through the cracks. There's been no other resource."
The deliveries might have finished by Saturday night, but the Eveline Rivers weekend was far from over.
On Sunday, anyone in need who did not recievereceive could come to the warehouse and go shopping... And they came out by the hundreds.
Rivers says, "After we finish packing there are a few things that are left so why store those when we can share them with children who want them or need them. So we lay them out on the tables and families can pick out two toys per child."