Organization helps children, grandparents

OKLAHOMA CITY—Many people are in the giving spirit this time of year and some of those needing the most help had their season made a little brighter thanks to a local organization.

Local law enforcement agencies partnered with several organizations to provide Christmas for children who may not have one this year.

Organizers say nearly 600 children who are being raised by their grandparents were involved in Saturday’s Christmas party.

Chief Bill Citty, Oklahoma City Police Department, said, “You’ll see sometimes five kids coming in with their grandparents. Many of them are low income and struggle with providing for Christmas. We work in coordination with Sunbeam, who identifies those grandparents and supports them on a regular basis.”

Authorities say that while each child received one gift, the effect is enormous.

Citty said, “I think most people don’t really realize how many grandparents are raising their grandkids.”

Katie Bizzell said, “You have these grand babies, raising them and you’re out there trying to make a living. But this here is a big help to me because they get something on the table and they get a gift.”

For those on the receiving end, Bizzell says programs like these give her hope when times get hard.

She said, “Being a single parent is kind of hard but through it all God makes a way out of no way.”

For those who are giving the gifts, this experience gives them even more.

Citty said, “In a lot of ways we get more out of this than the families do. It really is all in the Christmas spirit and it just warms your heart to see families appreciative of what you’re doing to provide for their kids.”

Sunbeam Family Services has been helping the state’s most vulnerable citizens for more than 100 years.