OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – More than 400 grandchildren and 180 grandparents received gifts and support Saturday during Sunbeam Family Services’ 22nd annual Grandparents Raising Grandchildren holiday program.
Most of the toys handed out to the children were donated by the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Betty Lowery was one of the grandparents who has been part of the program for several years.
“We weren’t planning on taking on our grandchildren,” said Lowery. “So it’s an added expense.”
The added costs can be difficult for families like Lowery’s around Christmas time. That is why Sunbeam came up with the idea more than two decades ago to help families with financial needs afford gifts for their grandchildren.
“They fill out their top 3 to 5 wish list,” said Sheryl Pressley, with Sunbeam Family Services. “Then actually even our own police family helps shop and wrap too.”
Oklahoma County Sheriff deputy Tara Hardin said it was nice to be able to be back in person, sharing the experience with the children, for the first time in three years.
“We’ve been holding drive thru events for three years and we’re really excited to be live with the kids and getting to interact,” said Hardin.
Santa and the Grinch even made special appearances.