CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of homeless children in Charlotte has reached an all-time high. For so many of them, a Christmas with presents and food is something they just get to dream about. But inside a non-descript building in Charlotte’s South End there is a special branch of Santa’s workshop.

There are bicycles and toys and just about anything a kid could want.

“We are very well blessed,” said Annabelle Suddreth, the Director of A Child’s Place — a non-profit agency that works to help homeless children in Charlotte.

Suddreth walked around through the piles of toys, clothing and food that has all been donated by businesses and individuals.

“We’re helping over 350 families which equates to over 1,300 children and parents,” Suddreth said.

Hundreds of volunteers take turns helping to wrap all the gifts.

The volunteers Wednesday afternoon were from the Elevation Church. Taylor Koziarz was busy wrapping one of the toys.

“Knowing where they will all go, it will be a nice surprise for someone on Christmas,” she said.

Erin Hummel said it helps her own kids learn the true spirit of the holidays.

“I just work really hard with my own kids to try and remind them that the season is really stepping outside of the ‘me focus’ and seeing who in our community we can serve,” she said.

Each of the families also gets a large bag of food to make sure there is a healthy and festive holiday meal to go along with the gifts.

“I think we’re probably looking at close to $100,000 worth of generosity here,” said Suddreth.

And because of that generosity and a lot of volunteer hours, for some homeless kids, Christmas will not just be another day.

Said Taylor Koziarz as she added one more piece of tape to a package, “It makes me feel happy and good inside too.”

From WCNC, Dec. 12, 2012

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