WACO, Texas- Toys from the Heart is making it their mission each year to provide gifts for underprivileged children in the community.

Toys from the Heart founder Robert Gager wants children to know how much they are cared for this holiday season.

Today volunteers handed out bags of toys using a drive thru line for families just in time for Christmas.

Gager has been doing this drive for the past 11 years and says this year is unlike any year in the past.

“This is the most that we have ever done,” Gager said. “We’ve got 350 families, usually it’s about 200 and something. Last year we gave away toys to 750 kids, this year it’s 1,020!”

Gager says the goal is to make sure homeless and underprivileged kids don’t go without gifts during christmas. 

And as a boy growing up in poverty himself, he is holding true to his vision with the help of many others.

“This is what we work up for every year. It’s a blessing to us to see the joy in all the kids.” Harold Fredrick said.

“Right now with the pandemic going on and still going on it has been a struggle for families,” Volunteer Nicole Merkledove said. “To be able to gift all these gifts to these kids is so heartwarming and to see their smiling faces, santa came early for these kids today.” 

Gager says they were able to collect the majority of toy donations at designated drop off locations throughout the community. As the need increases, so is the need for help next year.  

“We spent 15,000 buying toys, we have never bought that much in toys before,” Gager said. “It wasn’t that the contributions were low, it’s just that we got so many more kids.”

If you would like to donate to the organization visit Sheppard’s Heart website.