Year after year, City Union Mission makes it a tradition to deliver Christmas to families who wouldn't have one otherwise.
The mission has no shortage of helpers. Volunteers delivered presents and a holiday meal Friday morning all across the metro.
More than 13,000 presents went out to 1,000 families who qualified for the 2016 Mission: Christmas outreach program. Other families who didn't anticipate needing help this year still received presents to put under the tree.
Dan Doty, director of the mission, said the number of people who need help during the holidays seems to rise every year, but he's glad so many people continue to donate.
Cassy Scarborough is a new recipient. She said the gifts are a blessing.
"It's not really for me, it's for the kids, and that's the most important thing. Just seeing them, if it's one gift or even if it's food, they're like yay! And that's all we need to see in the morning. It's for the kids and that's what makes our day go by," she said.
For many volunteers, helping the mission out has become a family tradition.
"This time of season people get caught up in doing things for themselves and taking care of their kids, and this is a way we want to give back to the community, those folks that we live with around the city, and those that are less fortunate," Matt McGraw said. "This is just a real blessing and opportunity to participate in an event like this every year."
Gifts also go out to nursing homes, the mission's youth group programs, the homeless staying in their shelter, and inmates at Jackson County jails.
Sarah Plake can be reached at Sarah.Plake@KSHB.com