A Christmas Wish helped to provide holiday gifts to families in need in the Arlington area for another year this Dec. 15.
The program has run for a number of years and is driven completely by volunteers and donations.
Local families can come down and get free toys and gifts for children from newborns to teenagers.
Last year the program served around 250 families and about 800 kids according to Tina Davis, one of the main organizers of the program.
“Every year it just keeps getting bigger, with more people and more volunteers,” she said.
Davis and other organizers run the event to make sure that all local children are able to receive holiday gifts.
“The kids need to know that people care about them,” said Davis.
Local parents said they appreciated the support.
“I think it’s amazing. They can help families that need the help,” said Christmas Wish client Jordan Bluford.
Single mother Kelli Clark said that the event helped provide gifts for her four sons and she was impressed with the amount of gifts available.
“This is way more than I thought it would be. I didn’t know what I was coming to and I had never been here before,” she said.
“Help like this is going to make the Christmas, it’s like a miracle to me. I’m going to give back next year too, come back and volunteer or do something,” Clark said.
Davis said that many local organizations and community members come together to put on the program each holiday season.
“I just love to see all the enthusiasm from people,” she said.
“People want to give and help, but if they don’t have a place to do it then they don’t do it because no one’s putting it together,” which is why Davis said she helps to organize the program each year.
This year A Christmas Wish received assistance from organizations like the Stillaguamish Tribe, who donated $25,000, the Arlington Rotary Club, who donated $10,000 and businesses like Walmart and S&S Roofing.
S&S Roofing employees volunteered at the event itself and also ran a toy drive this holiday season and Davis said they brought in a lot of gifts.
“It’s giving back to our community, and our local community is really important to us,” said S&S Roofing employee and A Christmas Wish volunteer Sheri Dunlap.
“It was neat to be able to give back, especially to this program and seeing the community come in and help,” she said.
The Arlington Boys & Girls Club has also supported the event the last couple of years by providing the venue for the event.
As the event gets bigger the organizers are bringing in more items to keep it organized as well, said Davis, like branded aprons this year.
“It’s so hard sometimes, when you get bigger, to tell the difference between a shopper and a volunteer,” she said.
Davis wanted to thank everyone who helped make the event a possibility again this year.
“I think it’s awesome to be part of a community that wants to help people in need, especially during the holidays,” she said.