23 Needy Families Get Christmas Shopping Spree 12/20/13
CBS 7 News
December 20, 2013
MIDLAND, TX - For most of us, the holidays are full of joy, gift giving and laughter but for so many this time of year is tainted by financial limitations. But one Midland organization is giving 23 needy families a Christmas they will never forget.
The holiday season is here but some parents are unable to put gifts under the tree for their kids. A heart-wrenching reality that Amanda Rodriguez had to face this year. Her daughter Vanessa was born without hands and feet and medical bills have been piling up.
"She got running prosthetics and so we had extra trips that were unexpected between that and the high cost of living now it's added up," said Amanda Rodriguez, Mother.
"We don't have money cause I was paying my rent and I just lost my job," said Luetta Wooden, Mother.
For Luetta Wooden, it's a matter of buying gifts for her son Reggie and two daughters or paying rent. Rodriguez says telling her daughters Mia and Vanessa they wouldn't be getting the gifts they wanted broke her heart.
"I just told them we'll always celebrate but presents are going to be very tight this year they are can be much this year, I asked them what they wanted and they just told me it doesn't matter mom just get me whatever," said Rodriguez.
Just when Rodriguez and Wooden thought Christmas wasn't happening this year, they received a call from Casa de Amigos that their families were chosen to be part of the "Friends of Hope" shopping spree at Target.
"I was so excited at even know what to expect even if they get $10 that's more than what i could've gotten them," said Wooden.
"On the news you always about the bad that's going on and you see this it just makes your heart swell," said Rodriguez.
Kids of 23 families in need were given $150 each to get whatever they wanted for Christmas. With smiles from ear-to-ear, the kids ran through the store during a V.I.P. shopping session.
"My face lights up just thinking about it and watching them shop it's just a tremendous enjoyment for all of us," said Victor Pena, Executive Director, Casa de Amigos.
Thanks to Casa de Amigos and generous community donors, these kids will be opening presents on Christmas morning.
"Iím in a be so happy with them I want to be tears too," said Wooden.
"It means so much so so much that my kids get to have a Christmas get to open gifts," said Rodriguez.
Hundreds of items and thousands of dollars later, Christmas lives on.