SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Christmas came early for thousands of low-income families in the South Bay Thursday as parents in need got a chance to shop for holiday gifts that otherwise wouldn’t be under the tree.

The gift giving is going on all day at Sacred Heart in San Jose.

Santa Clara County resident Flor Tello couldn’t contain her excitement and happiness as she chose Christmas gifts for her five children.

Normally the holiday season is a struggle.

“It’s really sad. You cannot afford it, but they really want it,” said Tello.

Her husband is the only who works so Tello can stay at home to take care of their kids.

Her story is similar to that of the thousands who will line up at Sacred Heart to get free Christmas gifts they can’t afford:

“A lot of the parents here they are struggling just to pay for rent, and it’s leaving little for holiday tradition which every family should have,” said Sacred Heart’s Jill Mitch.

For the next two days, Christmas gifts will be handed out for 6,200 kids in Santa Clara County, but there’s still a need.”

“This morning we were short about 2,000 toys,” said Mitch.

The toy store Sacred Heart sets up every year is full of donations, gifts Tello knows come from the heart. She’s also a volunteer here.

For a day, she and her family can forget their struggle and simply celebrate the holiday.

“I got what they want, so I’m so happy,” said Tello. “I’m so happy.”

Interested parties who would like to help Sacred Heart collect last-minute toys for the holiday drive can get more information at the Sacred Heart website.


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