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Christmas Comes Early To Families In Need

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STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla_Christmas came early for hundreds of Stephens County families Saturday night that may have otherwise gone without one.

The Teen Round-Up Camp held their 3rd annual Christmas Surprise. The invitation was open to any children or families that might be struggling this holiday season. They received a free meal, a show of lights, entertainment and even gift bags to take home, some valued at over 200 dollars.

For years Teen Round-Up, a non-profit organization, has been helping to serve families in financial crisis and single parent homes. For these families holiday expenses often leave them needing more help than ever. That is why volunteers from the organization spent the last 6 months working endlessly collecting donations, and judging from the smiles on everyone's faces, their hard work paid off.

Teen Round-Up has been a place kids call home in the summer time since 1965, and after offering a free summer camp for over 10 years, Roxanne Kerley decided she wanted to do more.

"I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to host a big Christmas party for these kids? But I could never have the faith to get it off the ground. I would think oh that sounds like so much work. But I finally decided, you know what. We're just gonna do it," said Kerley, the event's founder.

And now for the third year in a row, that is exactly what they have done. The event offers a free meal, hot cocoa and even presents for every child and parent that attends, and the popularity is growing.

Kerley explained, "This year, I mean, things have come together like never before. We've had people donate gifts, and it was gonna be for 400 people, but tonight we're expecting 500 or more."

For many of those people, the event gave them a chance to give their kids and grand kids a Christmas experience they could never provide.

Nikki Fica, a grandparent who attended the event said, "This is gonna be Santa for a lot of them. And it's just a really good place for all the special kids to come. I've lived a lot of places around the United States and I've never known of any do this, other than Duncan."

Roxanne Kerley and her team opened up the night to anyone who just might need that extra nudge to get through the holidays. For her it is a labor of love that just might make a world of difference in someone's life.

Kerley said, "A parent might be down or very depressed about their children. And they could come here and somebody could just say something to them, give them a hug, give them gifts and it make all the difference in their home."

All of the event's food and gifts were donated to the Teen Round-Up organization. To learn more about Teen Round-Up visit www.teenroundup.com

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