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Families benefit from kindness of 'Santa's elves' in Christmas event

Over 400 families that will now have toys to open on Christmas Day. (Tyler Hardin, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Over 120 of Santa's elves spent Saturday organizing toys and wrapping gifts to make a special Christmas possible for hundreds of families.

Those people were waiting in line for thousands of toys inside as early as 5 a.m. for the fifth annual Great Toy Takeaway in Greenville. There's toys for girls, boys and even babies, all made possible because of Bailey Blivens wanting to help make Christmas special for families in need.

"I don't think it's fair that I get to have Christmas presents and other people don't, so I just wanted to make them feel happy and they get Christmas presents, too," Blivens said.

The Blivens started collecting toys in November from a local businesses or purchased them using grant funding. Many of the families receiving toys ...

"Just missed the cutoff for Toys for Tots or other Christmas giveaway programs that just need help," Blivens said. "So whoever needed help was welcome to come out."

Each family got to take up to 10 toys. And each toy counts, especially for Earl Rowand, who drove nearly an hour from Kinston to wait in line for hours to get his three sons, Dylan, Connor and Luke, toys for Christmas.

"I barely cover my bills every month so there's no extra money for Christmas, so my kids are just like 'hey dad, whatever you can do you can do," Rowand said.

That's over 400 families that will now have toys to open on Christmas Day. For Rowand, he can't wait to see the look on his children's faces.

"I'm just really happy how much it's grown and how many toys we give and how many people now have Christmas," Blivens said.

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