Hundreds of families receive Christmas gifts for children at Gift of Hope event


POSTED:   12/21/2013 12:10:37 AM PST


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The Fathers House church bustles with volunteers and families for the Gift of Hope handout event...

OROVILLE -- A long line of parents, grandparents and guardians wound around The Father's House church Friday night with their children, waiting to pick up hundreds of gifts for Christmas.

They were there for the annual Gift of Hope handout, where volunteers from the church helped disperse thousands of presents donated by people in the community.

This year, 1,100 children received gifts, with each getting at least three presents.

As people waited outside for the handout to start, dozens of volunteers waited at tables to greet the families and find their gifts.

The door opened at 6 p.m. When people arrived inside, they checked in and went to a designated table with an assigned number. Volunteers then went out into the sea of brightly colored presents and gathered all the packages with that same number.

One woman's face glowed with a wide smile as a box heaped with presents stood on a cart to be taken to her car.

Sommer Parrish waited outside with her four children for their turn.

"I feel it's a very amazing thing they do for the community," she said. "It's an amazing church as well."

Parrish said this is the first time she has registered for the Gift of Hope.

"We just needed a little help," she said. "With the bills, there's not enough to Christmas shop. It's a blessing."

Gift of Hope was started in 2004. Last year, 616 children received gifts.

Director Nicole Wallace spearheaded the program this year, and made sure the handout went smoothly.

Wallace couldn't say enough about the community's help this year, whether it came from individuals, businesses or groups, and she wanted to express her thanks.

"We're just so grateful for the community support," she said. "We could not do it without them."

More than 50 people worked as volunteers during the handout.

Wallace said a new thing this year is getting parents who previously received gifts for the kids to volunteer to help out. It's a way to give back, she said.

She wasn't sure whether she'll aim as high as she did this year, which was to donate to 1,000 children.

"My goal is always to provide more for people," she said.

Posted on January 25, 2014 .