Six months of hard work all came down to one special moment: children smiling and getting gifts their family could not afford.
As the oldest of five brothers and sisters, 14-year-old Ricardo Garcia Napoles knows his parents work hard to provide for everyone, so he treasures every Christmas present they give.
But thanks to the Dr. Ella Piper Center for Social Services, Ricardo is picking out a few more for himself.
“I got Play-Doh, virtual reality for my phone, real nice,” he said.
This is all part of a long-standing tradition.
“The Annual Children’s Christmas Party was organized by Sarah Williams, the mother of Dr. Piper, in 1915,” said Executive Director Nida Eluna.
It’s a part that has put smiles on countless faces for 104 years now.
“They are just so overwhelmed with all these toys and they want it all,” Eluna said. “It’s priceless.”
Her job is to carry on the tradition. She begins planning the perfect Christmas for these kids as early as July.
“Every year is such a joy. I can’t even express in words how much this means to me,” she said.
Her reward—the joy these kids experience on Christmas morning.
“I’m feeling pretty good, like, this is really nice,” Ricardo said.
The Dr. Piper Center also collects dozens of bicycles form people throughout the year and raffles them off to the kids during the party.