Local group and dental firm stepping up to surprise families in need during the holidays

One knows the joy of Christmas quite like a kid, especially waking up to presents under the tree. This year, a local organization is spreading cheer a little early to make sure a few families won't go without.

Esperanca has been delivering Christmas joy for 20 years. This year, Santa’s elves with Esperanca and Delta Dental were busy wrapping gifts for families in need.

"The families that we serve have been especially hard hit by COVID," said Esperanca Chief Development Office Tami Bohannon. "They are families that reside in Title I school neighborhoods, refugee families. We’re an organization that’s all about health equity."

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, Title I is a reference to a portion of a Federal law that provides financial assistance to schools with high numbers of, or high percentages of, children from low-income families in order to ensure that those children meet academic standards.

Esperanca, in 2020, was able to give gifts to 62 girls and boys as part of their Christmas Angels Program.

"Over 68% of our associates purchased gifts this year, which is really important to us because it shows that they care," said Barb Kozuh with Delta Dental of Arizona.

"The items range from socks, and shoes and clothing, to toy items," said Bohannon.

On Dec. 24, ahead of Santa’s schedule, a brand new bike was wheeled into the arms of one girl.

"The appreciation they have for these gifts, it’s going to make my Christmas when we go out and deliver these gifts. They are just so grateful for the generosity that has been shown to them," said Bohannon

Delta Dental also gave the girl’s parents electric toothbrushes, and they also got grocery store gift cards to help buy a meal for Christmas Day.

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news

For the latest local news, download the FOX 10 News app.

Sign up for FOX 10 email alerts, newsletters