WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A charitable organization in Luzerne County is making sure everyone has a Merry Christmas this year, not only by distributing food to those in need, but also giving gifts for under the tree.
Families entered St. Vincent de Paul's food pantry in Wilkes-Barre to collect food items they'll need to complete their Christmas this year.
"What they're getting is a turkey and all kinds of trimmings and whatnot for a complete Christmas dinner. They pre-register for this, and like I said, there's going to be a little over 400 families that will be taken care of for Christmas," said Michael Cianciotta.
Anyone in Luzerne County could register for this helping hand over the holidays.
"This way, they know that they don't have to buy the food. They have some extra money for their bills or also for extra toys for the kids," Cianciotta said.
"It's a blessing. It really is. We try so hard, and we've had a hard year, and for us, it's great," Serena McDermott said.
In addition to the Christmas dinner giveaway, folks with St. Vincent de Paul also organized a toy distribution for those same families.
"They basically come in when they signed up, they bring the slip, they come in, the women bring them around. They get a large toy for the child and a smaller one," coordinator Diane Colleran said.
"We were just there, and the lady was so nice, and it was such a blessing. I hope everybody, you know pays, it forward for all these people helping us, even if it's just something from the dollar store. Just pay it forward," McDermott said.
People helping out tell Newswatch 16 they appreciate the gratitude from parents.
"No child should wake up Christmas morning without something underneath that tree," Colleran said. "They shouldn't wake up without something underneath that tree, and that's why I do this."