The Christmas Store in North Augusta plays Santa to almost 500 children
Hundreds of kids in the North Augusta area woke up to gifts under the Christmas tree this morning thanks to The Christmas store.
That’s 478 kids, to be exact, who may not have otherwise had a visit from Santa.
Louvenia Mathews, one of the driving forces behind The Christmas Store, said the kids come from a total of 172 families, four of which are homeless.
Sponsors from individuals to businesses to churches then sponsor as many families as they can, and on Dec. 17 and 18, filled the Family Life Center at North Augusta First Baptist Church with toys, bikes and clothes for the children.
The next two days, parents and families picked up the gifts.
Mathews said even between those pickup dates and Christmas, families may call, and sponsors will still be willing to help. She said that happens through the “grace of God.”
“A lot of (the applicants) are single moms and for them to have to get up and get a little extra is too much,” Mathews said.
The also work with the grandparents program at University Hospital to help grandparents who may have recently had to take care of their grandchildren and can’t afford extra for Christmas gifts.
The Christmas Store takes applications from families who need Christmas assistance in October and they use property guidelines of South Carolina and Georgia to certify their residency.
Mathews recalled a story from this year’s pickup when a woman collapsed on the floor in tears at seeing the help she and her family were going to get.
“See, when you see somebody like that in there, that gratefull and appreciative — I mean hey, it’s worth it all.”