Less fortunate get opportunity to 'shop' for Christmas gifts

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POSTED: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 5:38pm

Hope Ministries in North Baton Rouge was filled with toys that were collected with the help of Exxon Mobils, exCITE volunteers. Families in need had the chance to "shop" for little ones on their lists, who may not otherwise have received gifts this Christmas. And some families NBC33 spoke with in North Baton Rouge say it’s a Christmas miracle for those who are really struggling.

For some the most difficult part of the holiday season is picking out that perfect gift, but for other families it’s hard even fill the stockings. And for families surrounded by crime, Christmas seems brighter with the help of local organizations like Hope Ministries.

“It helps them out a lot and teaches them that people out there really do care and there is more to life than just being on the streets," says Robin Bailey, a recipient of a Christmas gift.

Bailey is a grandmother and a mother, and she is now able to give her grandson a Christmas, thanks to Hope Ministries and the help of Exxon Mobil.

"It's a blessing, ya know for him to even receive gift from here."

Over 300 families will be given over 1,200 new gifts to put under the tree and fill those stockings.

”It’s going to be wonderful to wake up with something under the tree on Christmas morning," says Brenda Walker, another recipient and grandmother.

Even though the children won't know the gifts were not bought by family, the parents and grandparents still feel it’s important to tell them what it means to give.

"So they would probably give them to want to help other people too in life if they have the chance to maybe if it's a dollar or a dime just to help other people too and I think it’s wonderful," says Walker.

"That's one of the goals here is to let them know that people do care and that if they ever get in that position they also know they can give back," says Kristy Lewis a volunteer for Exxon Mobil.

So now with the generosity of others, these two women will put a smile on their grandchildren’s faces, come Christmas morning.

There were many other local businesses and volunteers that helped make this toy distribution a reality.

This is also the 9th year Hope Ministries continued to brighten the holidays for families in need.

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