LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many children in the valley don’t have the luxury of waiting for a present to be delivered. The holidays are a time of struggle.
That’s when local nonprofits like Don’t Blink Motivation and UBC Sports Foundation step in.
Friday at the Pearson Community Center in West Las Vegas, families came together to make sure kids wouldn’t go without gifts.
“We have over 150 RSVPs that have sent in their applications, were they said what was their wish? What was their Santa wishlist, and how old they were. Those items were selected, we shopped, so we have 150 kids coming,” according to Jerome Burks, CEO of Don’t Blink Motivation.
Inflation brought sticker shock this year.
“The price of everything is so expensive. I went last night to go shopping and I saw how much everything had increased, and I said oh my God, this is what the parents are experiencing when they’re in here shopping,” Burks said.
“A lot of us are single mothers, so you know we do our best,” Lauraine Bartholomew said. “We try to buy things but it’s just so expensive right now.”
“People can know that even if it’s a stranger, you know that they do matter,” said Unique Connor, owner of UBC Sports Foundation. “I love it. It brightens my heart. I give out lots, literally throughout the year. But coming back to West Las Vegas to give back, it definitely brightens the heart.”
Resident Toni Tatum came an hour early with her kids. She’s a mother of eight.
“It’s hard when you work and you can pay the bills, but not really get a lot of gifts,” Tatum said.
“This one, Roman, is expecting toys. He’s expecting toys like cars,” Bartholomew said.
One of the children, Mariah Price, said, “It doesn’t matter what I get. I’m grateful for what I get. It’s all about love, not gifts or money.”
“Nowadays, It’s more important to think about the kids, when it comes to the holidays,” Bartholomew said. “You wanna put a smile on your kid’s face.”
She continued, “Children nowadays are so thankful, and they’re thankful for the smallest things.