Local charity spreads the spirit of Christmas

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Presents are what all kids want to see Christmas morning but for some families getting gifts for their kids is not an easy task.

Luckily an organization in our area has been making dreams come true for families who can’t afford Christmas.

“I have children myself, and I know how it feels to struggle early on,” said Barbara Murphy, Spirit of Christmas Packing and Distribution Chair.

Spirit of Christmas an all-volunteer organization that helps more than 600 families in the Chippewa County put presents under their Christmas trees.

“Those are unexpected expenses, if you have enough to pay your bill, that's one thing; now you throw Christmas in the mix, and everybody's kids want the same things, whether you have a lot of money or you don't,” explained Murphy.

The business community donates gift items, or goes out and buys them.
Than more than 50 volunteers pair gifts up for each family and then distributes the goodies.

“If you feel like you've been fortunate in your life, you want to give back,” said Murphy.

Something 13 year -old Caleb Smithberg is learning first hand.

“If somebody was kind enough to donate a big bag of presents for me, I would be just thrilled, “said Smithberg.

Smithberg was one of Santa’s little helpers who gave the presents out to the families.

“When you hand them a present and you can see a big smile on their face, it fills me with sense of joy,” he said.

Murphy says each family fills out an application, with the gift wish list.
The gift bags were with everything from toys and clothes to video games. And the hottest item of all - bikes.

“Every year we get tons of request for bikes,” explained Murphy.

She says for her seeing smiling faces and tears of joy - is the best present of all.

Spirit of Christmas has been giving out gifts now for 25 years.
If you’re interested in donating or volunteering with Spirit of Christmas, visit the link on the side of this story to learn more.

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