8,000 Area Kids Have Christmas Thanks to Organization

Eveline Rivers
Eveline Rivers

For some children in the panhandle, Christmas presents consist of one wrapped box with a label reading their age category.

The elves handing them the boxes are volunteers of the Eveline Rivers Christmas Project.

The children who picked up gifts tonight are emergency cases. Meaning someone, like a nurse, pastor, or social worker has recommended them for a last minute gift. And for these kids, It means the world.

You may wake up on Christmas to the sight of a big shinny Christmas tree and gifts stacked neatly underneath, But for these children, "This" is Christmas.

Irene Aguilar is picking up gifts for her sons, "We went through a hard time. I lost my job and they are helping me cause i couldn't quite afford to get them everything they needed, so If they didn't have it than they wouldn't have any presents under the tree."

These kids are the last to receive gifts this year. It's an effort to keep any child from having nothing to open on Christmas.

Founder, Eveline Rivers says, "There is always someone who is going to fall through the cracks and that is what we are here to do tonight is to not let that happen. We are here to help those who just today thought, 'Oh my goodness, christmas is just around the corner.' We are here helping those families tonight."

Eight Thousand area kids received a box for Christmas. It's the most the organization has ever handed out.

The boxes contain everything from stuffed animals and books to school supplies and hygiene products.

Those receiving the boxes say they will pass along the help and caring they have been shown.

Aguilar says, "It showed them that people are helping them, and now that they are getting older, they want to help."

It was more than just gift giving tonight.

The organization also handed out coats to those in need and sent 200 blankets to Dumas to be given to Somalian residents there.