KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Christmas can be hard for parents when they don’t have the resources to give their children presents. One church in Knoxville is making sure that hundreds of kids will have something under the tree on Christmas Day. Dante Church of God hosts a toy drive called Love in Action.
“They started with 60 children their first year and it’s doubled almost every year,” said Mike Morgan one of the founders.
The drive was started five years ago by his wife, Lola Morgan, and her sister Perlene Sexton.
“It’s just amazing as they come through and you see the parents and the mothers that are so privileged just to have Christmas,” said Sexton.
In just five years the sister, with the help of their church, went from helping 60 children to this year Sexton said, “We are going to fill and take care of 1,400 children today.”
Lola Morgan explained that they partner with several nonprofits and organizations to make this possible, “We work with CAC, we work with Helen Ross McNab, we work with the school systems.”
They had over a hundred volunteers and Santa to help with the drive on Saturday.
It’s a project their pastor, David Snyder, said he’s proud to be a part of, “During hardship, that’s when we come together and say hey we want to help you and be a blessing to others because that’s what Christ would do.”
Along with giving gifts, the church handed out several hundred food boxes. Lola Morgan said they’re already working on next year.
“We start in November. We’ve already started shopping for next year,” Morgan said.
Sexton said they just want to show love in action through giving Christmas to those in need, “They’ll tell us this is the only Christmas our child will have and it touches our heart.”