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Helping homeless children have a better holiday

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -- Harry and Lisa Lee answered the call to help this holiday season. Their donation was a real Christmas tree which they rolled through the doors at A Child's Place.

It will be a homeless family's first Christmas tree.

"My hope is they'll love it," said Lisa Lee.

A Child's Place helps hundreds of homeless children in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Nearly 5,000 homeless children have been identified in the school system. A Child's Place is able to serve about half of them.

Part of their effort is focused on Holiday Central, where donations are taken to help those families have a better Christmas. It takes a lot of work to gather sponsors, organize all the presents and get them to the right family.

Ann Sherrill is A Child's Place employee who has been helping children the past 13 years.

"We have some parents who come in and they get so much stuff," said Sherrill. "It's amazing to them. They didn't think anyone cared for them," she said.

Turns out a lot of volunteers do care. WBTV found several people helping to wrap presents and more volunteers will be coming into Holiday Central every day.

"It's good," said Diarmuid O Sullivan, who volunteered with his co-workers. "There's no question about that. There's tremendous need and here's our chance to do something," he said.

For them it's a small sacrifice and they enjoy doing it. However, it's not lost on anyone where the gifts are going. This year, at least 1300 homeless children and their parents will benefit from Holiday Central.

"You won't be able to see the families when they come in. But if you could, it would make you cry," said Sherrill.

A Child's Place has enough family sponsors for Christmas, but their work with homeless children continues all year. The agency is always looking for donations and volunteers.

During the summer, it sponsors summer camps for homeless children. However, the agency is only able to serve a fraction of the children who need that extra support.

For more information, click here.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved. 

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