Organizations across Central Georgia are gearing up for the holiday season by giving back to those that need it most.
In Milledgeville, one woman is trying to make Christmas a little brighter for some children who have experienced loss and tragedy this year.
"We want to come to the community and show them that we're still here, we're still thinking about them and we want to put a smile on their faces," Arlene Simmons said.
Simmons has been working hard over the last few months putting together a toy giveaway for some families in need.
"We're trying to spread some love to the Milledgeville community and we're trying to spread cheer to some of the family members and children that have gone through tragic events and tragic losses," Simmons said.
Simmons says she was inspired to help after hearing stories of loss this year in the community.
So on the Sunday before Christmas, nearly 100 families got to pick out Christmas gifts for their kids, including Chasity Langford. She just lost her mother and Chasity's four kids lost their grandmother.
"It's hard," Langford said. "Christmas was her favorite time and trying to carry on is really hard."
Langford says seeing so many people willing to help those in need this holiday season means everything.
"The community should come together as one, and doing something like this shows that we can be one," Langford said.
And having the community come together was one of Simmons' goals for this giveaway. She says she had tremendous support from local businesses and organizations.
"Bodyplex hosted a toy drive, along with the King movement, the Queen movement, Leroy Hill... they all came together and gathered toys for us with no questions asked. They did it without a problem, it was awesome," Simmons said.
Simmons says seeing the smiles on peoples' faces made all the hard work worthwhile, and she's already looking forward to next year.
"I'm just excited and elated and next year, it's going to be bigger and better," Simmons said.
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