GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) — The YMCA of Greenville is making Christmas better this year by fulfilling the wish lists of children from families in need.

On Friday morning, a YMCA van turned into a Santa’s sleigh as staff and volunteers delivered presents to families living in local motels who are struggling and asked for help to fulfill their children’s Christmas wishes.

Gifts were donated by YMCA members and people across the community.

“We just feel that we have a relationship with these families. These are families we’ve come to know over the past couple of years. This program started as a result of COVID, and we thought it might be a short-term program. But here we are. We’re serving again and again,” said Diana Watson, chief philanthropy officer at the YMCA of Greenville.

The Christmas wish list program began two years ago, as families in need were struggling to provide food for their children.

Greenville County Schools expressed a need for someone to serve the families because schools were closed and many of them didn’t have the transportation to get to food distribution sites at schools across the county, said Watson.

The nonprofit decided to put a Christmas wish list into all of the food bags. They returned those lists and volunteers and staff did the rest. This year, they were able to fulfill wish lists for more than 125 children, she said.

“We just feel that we have a relationship with these families. These are families we’ve come to know over the past couple of years. This food program started as a result of COVID, and we thought it might be a short-term program. But here we are. We’re serving again and again,” she said.