Hundreds of families benefit from present giveaway in Scott Co.

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ONEIDA, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Everyone at the Boys & Girls Club of Scott County was shopping for the holidays on Saturday.

"So far we've got some pony stuff, a Barbie, Hotwheels, Legos," said Casey Terry, who has five young children.

But what made the day special is that no one paid. Three non-profits - the Unicorn Fund, the Morgan-Scott Project and The Salvation Army - combine efforts to give away presents in Scott and Morgan counties each year.

"It's a big help - I mean, right now, you know, low income. It's a huge help with Christmas coming up. We had some stuff, but I think every kid deserves a big Christmas," said Terry.

Scott County has the highest unemployment rate in the state, and organizers expect to serve 600 families and 1500 children this year.

"They get to get one big item per child, which that's a $15 or bigger item. And one $5-$10 item and then they get to get five stocking stuffers. Each family is getting a blanket, each family gets stuffed animals for their child," said Verhonda Hembree, with the Unicorn Fund.

People could also take home as many clothes as they wanted.

Everyone said they're grateful for the help.

"We really wouldn't have all the toys that we've got if it weren't for them. This makes the second time we've done it - last year we couldn't even afford to buy anything and we came here and got all the gifts. They're all nice to us - they're just a blessing. That's what they are. A blessing from God," said Randall Hutson, who was picking out presents for his daughter.

"It's a big deal. It helps a lot financial-wise with helping get the kids something they really enjoy," said Jessica Crossgrove.

Volunteers said that's what it's all about: paying it forward and helping kids have a merry Christmas.

The non-profits will be holding another present giveaway in Morgan County on Thursday.

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