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100 Families Get Presents On Christmas Eve

A Carpinteria family helped make Christmas bright for parents and their children with a big gift giveaway Wednesday morning.

More than 100 families got gifts for under their tree, just in time for Christmas Eve.

“You can chose presents and toys,” said Luis Garcia Marcos.

The families got their pick of toys, blankets and holiday decorations. Many of them were overjoyed when they walked in the hall at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Nasyr Gonzalez, 14, chose a watch for his gift. He said he was happy “for the presents. For the surprise.”

“It feels really good just to see the kids, because they’re just so grateful for everything. They’re not picky. Any toy you hold up, they’re excited about,” said Tara Toner, a giveaway organizer.

For more than 15 years, the Hahn family of Rose Story Farm has made sure families in Carpinteria have everything they need to celebrate the holiday. The Hahns raised $20,000 to make this year’s giveaway possible.

“It’s been a tradition as long as I can remember, and it really does bring joy to everybody involved. It’s a very rewarding experience, so I hope we continue it in the future,” said Geoffrey Hahn.

One of the Hahn brothers even plays Santa Claus.

“It feels good to have something to do every year to give back,” said Will Hahn dressed up as St. Nick.

The giveaway includes two gift cards valued at $50 to $100 each. This gives parents a chance to shop on their own.

“For low-income families, it’s very great. It’s been very hard times, especially living in Santa Barbara. I think this is wonderful for families,” said Loryann Velez, who received gifts for her family.

The list of local families came from Catholic Charities. The organization knows who needs an extra boost of Christmas cheer.

“It’s so amazing. There are just so many happy faces coming in and out of here,” said Hannah Miller, with Catholic Charities.

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