Eleva, Wis (WEAU) -- Just three days before Christmas area non-profits are keeping busy, by trying to make this holiday season extra special for families in need.
Ashley's Angels- a charity that helps less fortunate families have a very Special Christmas with food and present made a stop in our area.
Ashley's Angels began its journey in Mississippi many years ago.
A group of truck drivers there helped a little girl and her mom, homeless and hungry during Christmas time.
“The drivers got together and took up some contributions to help them out; it just so happens that her name was Ashley, so that's how Ashley's Angels got their name to begin with,” said President of the Ashley’s Angels Wisconsin Chapter Patrick Myers.
Wisconsin started its chapter 7 years ago, helping three kids that first year.
It’s counting more than 350 children this holiday season.
“Everybody does this because they want to give back to the community,” said Myers.
Myers says the volunteers deliver the gifts to schools in Trempealeau, Buffalo and parts of La Crosse County, and fundraise for gifts too; with the help of the community and local businesses like Ashley Furniture store.
“We had an overabundance of families that needed help this year,” said Debbie Wright, with the Eleva-Strum School District.
Eleva-Strum School District received items for four families that the district's own program "Christmas From the Heart" didn't have funds to cover.
“A lot of the parents that help us shop bring their children along, and it's kind of the same idea here; to let children know that Christmas is more about giving then receiving,” explained Myers.
And that's why five Eleva-Strum High School students were at the elementary school bright and early, wrapping the gifts Ashley’s Angels dropped off at the door.
“Anything I can do, especially on Christmas for these young students, young people who really wouldn't get a Christmas like this,” said Eleva-Strum High School Junior Doug Sands.
“They always say it's a community that raises a child and I felt that this community has done a good job raising me,” he added.
Eleva-Strum's program "Christmas From the Heart" did fundraise enough to supply 28 families this year with necessities and gifts alike.
Besides presents, Ashley’s Angels are delivering Christmas dinners to those less fortunate families as well.
For more information on the organization visit the link on the side of this article.