"Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful community, 325 children and their families will experience the magic of Christmas," said Child Advocacy Center Board President Terry Fann.

For the 18th year, the Child Advocacy Center matched Secret Santa's with needy families whose children were physically or sexually abused during the past year.

Car load after car load arrived brimming with gifts for the children, but that's not all. Basic necessities like food, towels, sheets, dishes, and pots and pans were on wish lists this year. Many of the families served by the Center are struggling financially and the Secret Santa program provides a sense of normalcy.  

"These families have been through so much," said Secret Santa Greta Caughron. "Just to be able to provide Christmas and help a local family means so much."

After the Secret Santa's left on their sleighs, parents and grandparents began arriving. There were tears of joy, sighs of relief, and lots of smiles and hugs. 

"I never thought that I would be in this position. I never thought I wouldn't be able to provide Christmas for my family," said one mother with tears streaming down her face. "This program is such a blessing to my family."

"The Child Advocacy Center is very grateful for all of our generous 'Secret Santas'," said Child Advocacy Center director Sharon De Boer. "We want to thank them for showing child abuse victims the true spirit of Christmas and wish them a joyful holiday season."

There's still time to get involved, for information on how you can be a part of the magic of Christmas to an abused child, contact Jennifer Gamble at the Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County at (615) 867-9000 or Cassell Galligan-Davis at the Cannon County Child Advocacy Center at (616) 563-9915.