Saturday was an exciting day at the Prime Osborn Convention Center as thousands of kids received toys for Christmas through the annual Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville.
Keith Roberts was first in line with his son and nephews.
He said he’s out of work and buying gifts would have been tough.
“It is great. It makes you feel good and it keeps the kids excited,” Roberts said.
Justine Vasquez was not far behind. She said seeing people willing to make this season brighter for her family and others leaves her speechless.
“Some of us are really struggling, and this gives us a way to give back to the kids to make sure that they have something to open up on Christmas,” Vazquez said.
More than 17,000 toys were given away at the Christmas party. More than 4,000 people walked through the doors of the Prime Osborne Convention Center.
This is a big year for the Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville, as it is the 25th year they are doing this event.
Sheriff T.K. Waters said this sight gives him chills.
“I just think it’s incredible. It is very heartwarming. It is very necessary. A lot of kids may not have a great Christmas or have the opportunity for a great Christmas. So, this helps. This adds to the joy,” Waters said.
But this event wouldn’t be such a success without the 700 volunteers that helped make this party possible – including some of our staff at News4JAX!
“You could have the best income, but the way it is now with how inflation is going, it is very hard to not have those kids have the smiles on their faces on Christmas Day… It would be a sad case. But today, Jacksonville made it possible,” Gina Blackmon said.
Thanks to this party, this Christmas can be one these kids will remember.