JACKSONVILLE, N.C. – “Christmas Cheer” will soon be taking applications for those seeking assistance this holiday season. The program, which is run by Onslow Community Outreach, hopes to brighten the lives of thousands in need.
Sandra Wyrick, the program's director say the long running program has helped many in the past.
"This is a program that's been around 38 years. It has grown. Last year, we helped over 5,000 individuals and not just children. We help elderly with food boxes,” said Wyrick.
They will give out toys, bikes, and food to help make Christmas brighter this year for many.
Sarah Anderson is applying for Christmas Cheer says with other family members out of work the help offered goes a long way.
"Its sorta hard out here with one person working,” said Anderson. “And when they give you food you're real thankful for that."
Last year, Christmas Cheer gave out around $40,000 worth of food but Christmas Cheer is also about giving gifts to boys and girls. For families with children, it can make the difference between a grinch or a grin on Christmas morning.
Many of the toys come from the Toys for Tots program and many others are bought by Christmas Cheer with money from donations. Last year, they gave away more than 22,000 toys.
Wyrick says it's always emotional when folks are getting the help the need.
"I've seen the volunteers, these big guys in tears, because it's tears of joy because they've helped these little kids that probably have nothing. That's why Christmas Cheer is so important," said Wyrick.
Christmas Cheer will be taking applications from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the old Piggly Wiggly store on Hargett street in Jacksonville.
Organizers say there's no need to rush to apply. Participants are chosen by need, not by when the application is received.