The holidays can be a difficult time, especially for victims of child abuse.
The Dallas Children's Advocacy Center is holding its annual Holiday of Hope Toy Drive to help make sure their Christmas is merry.
It is a massive undertaking. Currently, some 2,000 kids and their families are receiving services from the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center. The goal is to get each of them Christmas gifts, but some are still without a sponsor.
Two giant training rooms inside the advocacy center are filled with gifts to fit every child's need. The countless toys stacked on tables were thoughtfully chosen for a child who has been the victim of abuse and receiving therapy services through DCAC.
“We make sure that our kids are going to get to wake up on Christmas day and feel like normal, regular kiddos and not have to worry about everything else they may be experiencing,” said Becky Aguilar, the director of community engagement.
Starting in the summer, DCAC gets to work reaching out to donors and organizing toy drives. Come October, the gifts start piling in.
DCAC employees and countless volunteers begin organizing the donations and get the gifts ready to be picked up.
“We all just divide and conquer to make sure the kids get what they want,” said Mindy Jackson, the director of support services.
“We'll have our volunteers come in and kind of look over the wish list and bag some things for the kiddos,” Aguilar said. “If they want Legos, they can choose from this section and pop something in the bag.”
It's a tedious process with a giant payoff for everyone involved.
“As families come in and pick up their items, we have moms who are crying,” Jackson said. “They remind us that Christmas wouldn't happen if they didn't have DCAC in their life right now.”
Despite all of the donations, there's still about 300 kids who don't have Christmas gifts.
For more information on how to donate, click here: www.dcac.org/getinvolved/#HolidayofHope