MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Tis' the season of giving, and thanks to generous donations throughout Horry County, over 1,000 children will wake up on Christmas morning with a smile.
On Wednesday, the Salvation Army of Horry County spent the day distributing thousands of gifts donated through their Angel Tree Program.
Last Friday, about 200 Angel Tree tags were returned without any sponsors. When the Salvation Army asked for help, the community responded in a major way.
Within 48 hours, all 200 tags were sponsored by families, meaning each one of those children will wake up to gifts on Christmas, all thanks to the generosity of the local community.
Volunteers said 1,160 boys and girls were sponsored in Horry County this year.
Major Angie Repass, corps officer with the Salvation Army of Horry County, said even after 20 years, it still never gets old seeing these families smile.
"We are just the avenue of the generosity of this community," Repass said. "So this truly is one of my favorite days of the year."
The donation room looked like a scene from Santa's workshop, with boxes upon boxes filled not just with gifts, but hope. There were several first-time volunteers on hand spreading some holiday cheer through hard work and smiles.
Dora Moentoy brought her daughter and nephew to help with this year's Angle Tree distribution looking to create a new holiday tradition of giving back.
"It is more than just receiving; it's giving," Moentoy said.
Tonya Harmon, a mother of three sponsored Angels this year, was full of emotion picking up her children's gifts. She thanked everyone for their generosity.
"Some of these people, they don't know us and for somebody to just say, 'Hey, I want to help you guys out,' that's amazing and one day I hope to do that," Harmon said.
For those who missed out on the Angel Tree program, they can still help this holiday season with a donation made to the Salvation Army.
Their goal this year is to raise $200,000. Those funds are used to help families right here in Horry County throughout the year.