Catholic Charities helps parents who help others

You have to give a little to get a little.

"I have an elderly disabled guy that lives in my community, he doesn’t have a car or anything like that or family, so I’ve been helping him out for about 15 years now whenever he needs to go to his doctor appointment -- help with anything -- I go over there and help them," Ruben Briones said. "Maybe like a pink one would be good."

In return, this dad gets to pick out gifts for his kids in the Catholic Charities Emergency Santa Shop, with the help of an elf or volunteer.

"I have a 10-year-old that loves fishing, anything related to that would help a lot," another shopper said.

"My 9-year-old daughter, she likes girly things, so we'll see what we can find," said another shopper.

"So the Santa shop has been around since 1994," said Johanna Richards of Catholic Charities. "It started as parents coming and fixing broken toys for their kids."

Parents are required to volunteer one hour per child.

"So they can volunteer anywhere in their community," Richards said. "That can be helping a neighbor, babysitting, going to the grocery store at their child school, at their commute, at their faith community."

Santa's Emergency Shop is open for three days this year and will help 600 children, like Ruben's.

"It's good, it helps us out a lot," Briones said. "I'm pretty sure it helps a lot of families out that need it."

Catholic Charities Community Service