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Village Hands Foundation delivers new toys to Wake Forest family

Posted December 24, 2015

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— Every year, a group called the Village Hands Foundation makes Christmas merrier for a struggling family.

The foundation gets a wish list, then its members go out and do the shopping. On Christmas Eve, they go to a door and ring the bell.

Catalina Rios opened her door on this Christmas Eve to a bunch of strangers.

But like long-lost relatives, they filed inside with presents in hand.

Rios is a young mother of two who lives with her own mom.

"It's rough, it's rough to say the least," Rios said. "But I'm blessed to say I have a good mom. And I do have a job, and I provide the best as I can for my kids. But with my income only, it's hard."

She has two children with autism: Tiaonna, 5, and a 15-year-old boy.

Tiaonna was scared at first by all the strange faces, but the anxiety peeled away as she unwrapped a present.

Most of the year the Village Hands Foundation works to promote healthy eating and fitness in the community. This time of year, though, it nourishes the heart and soul.

"It warms my heart," said Colin Payne, one of the people who brought gifts.

Paine also brought along his 14-year-old sons.

"The best gift at Christmas is helping other people," said Patrick Paine.

The foundation finds these families through recommendations from members or from social services.

It hopes Thursday's special delivery heightens awareness of special needs families and their challenges.


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