KANSAS CITY, Mo. - On the morning of Christmas Eve, hundreds of families from the Kansas City area got into the Christmas spirit by delivering gifts to other families who couldn't afford them.
The City Union Mission warehouse was filled with rows of red bags. Inside were gifts for kids, and food staples for a big Christmas meal.
Back in November, 500 families came to the warehouse at City Union Mission to shop and pick out gifts. Many of those families have struggled with homelessness or loss of work.
Tuesday, hundreds of local families picked up those gifts and make a special delivery to each home to drop them off.
Beyond the gifts, volunteers say the gift exchange creates a bond between the volunteers and the families by spreading cheer when it's needed most.
Debbie Smith, who has volunteered for 4 years, says one Christmas two years ago sticks out to her.
"I remember two years ago we visited with this family and the kids were really busy cleaning. They were going to make cookies and it was really fun to be part of that family moment with them. It felt special," she reminisced.
Her brother Tom Ledoux, who is also a volunteer, piped in, "We want everyone to know that they are important. Their stories and their lives are important to us. It's an awesome thing."
City Union Mission says this gift giving event makes a huge difference for the families being helped, and makes them feel like they're a valued part of the community on Christmas Eve and beyond.