Sunbeam Family Services does its Christmas shopping for the Grand Family program

It’s November already, which means Christmas is right around the corner.

“Today we shop for our big families, meaning grandparents raising their grandchildren for our holiday program. We shop for gifts for the kids,” said Parthenia Barry of Sunbeam Family Services.

Sunbeam Family Services aims to build healthy families in Oklahoma. On Wednesday, they went Christmas shopping for their large families.

“It’s a way to give back to big families, to grandparents raising their grandkids, to kind of help ease the stress associated with the holidays,” Barry said.

With 182 families and more than 400 children in the program, they welcomed much-needed help from more than 50 volunteers.

“It’s awesome, it’s an event that I think we all enjoy, especially at Christmas,” said Lt. Fernando Hernandez of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

With a wish list in hand, volunteers scoured the aisles of a local Walmart for toys, games, clothing and candy.

“Right now we’re buying Barbies, basketballs, clothes. We’re having so much fun, this is the third time we’ve done it,” said Jennifer Strickland and Maureen Casidy of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

“We love it, we love it, it’s been our 22nd year,” said Sarah Augenstein, of Sunbeam Family Services.

Amidst all the fun, the goal was never lost.

“It really means a lot that I become a small part of such a huge impact, which is going to affect the lives of these families,” said Bank of Oklahoma volunteer Mellissa Watson.

“It’s a lot of hard work, as you can see, to coordinate this event, but it’s so rewarding that day to see the families and the kids and how excited they are,” Barry said.

Sunbeam offers many programs to help Oklahomans make a list or enroll in their great family program, visit their website.

About Marilyn Perkins

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