OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Volunteers from across the Oklahoma City metro Christmas shopped for families in need Wednesday morning in northwest Oklahoma City in preparation for a local event that benefits those families.
Although we’re just over 6 weeks away from Christmas, shopping is already underway for the holiday in northwest Oklahoma City.
Volunteers with local law enforcement like the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, along with OG&E, shopped at Walmart for 182 families and over 400 children in preparation for the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren holiday party in December.
“Just to help them with holiday cost and to provide gifts for the family, because sometimes that can put a strain on families,” said Parthenia Barry, with Sunbeam Family Services – the host organization for the event.
Barry said grants and donations provide enough to spend $40 per child.
Volunteers like Jim and Sarah Augenstein, who have been doing this for 22 years along with several others, grab their sheets with kids’ wish lists and get to work.
“We shop for pajamas, underwear, sheets, pillowcases,” Jim Augenstein said. “No kid should have that on their wish list. But these are families that are being raised by grandparents that don’t have.”
When they’re done, it’s time to check out.
Volunteers can go back and shop some more as they work to provide a Christmas for those who may not otherwise have one.
“To be a volunteer, it is everything, you know,” Jim Augenstein said. “To me, it’s a way to give back to the community, especially when you see people that need the help.”
“It’s really rewarding once to be out here and to be a part of all of the people volunteering,” Barry said.
The actual party where the families and kids get their gifts and take pictures with Santa is Dec. 3.
For more information on how you can help, you can go here.