LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) –
As many of you opened gifts at home Christmas morning, hundreds of families living in Lumberton motels were still waiting on Santa to arrive. Kiahnna Patterson was with Santa this morning as he traveled along I-95 to spread Christmas cheer.
Many families whose homes were flooded by Hurricane Matthew are living in motels along 1-95. This morning a group of elves made sure every child in those motels have eight to 10 Christmas gifts.
Santa and his helpers made sure every child had Christmas gifts this year even those that are living away from home.
Organizer Lynnetah Hunt says God put it on her heart to make sure children impacted by the storm have a Merry Christmas.
Hunt said, “No child should wake up Christmas morning without a gift to unwrap.”
“To provide them with a wonderful Christmas after they have lost everything. It is just so rewarding,” Hunt adds.
Hunt, her family and volunteers went to 10 different motels to make sure more than 400 children have gifts.
Brooke Chavis displaced by Hurricane Matthew and received gifts for children said, “I wasn’t able to get her anything.”
With the gift items each child received a coat, blanket and Bible.
“I’m grateful for everything. They did a lot for us because we lost our apartment,” Melissa Cribb, displaced by Hurricane Matthew and received gifts for children said.
Hunt says she could not imagine the amount of support she received support from the community and sponsors from across the state donated a half a million dollars in gifts for the children.
The primary sponsors include the United Methodist Church Association, Christmas Aid, BB&T, Cape Fear Valley and Duke Hospital.
“A lot of us are still blessed and we are here to help the unfortunate,” Hunt said.
In addition to the 400 children in motels, Hunt was able to give gifts to 100 children in Robeson County and a family in Flint Michigan.
In total, more than 500 children received gifts with the support from across the state.
Hunt says she is committed to helping families impacted by the storm recover. She has partnered with the Robeson County Long Term Recovery Program.