CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - More than 3,000 families will spend the next several days picking up Christmas gifts from their families that they may not have otherwise gotten.
This year marks the 44th season of The Salvation Army Explorer’s Christmas Project, partnering with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD).
CMPD Police Chief Ker Putney said the project started with on officer who saw a need to help families around the holidays.
“The Christmas Project started because of one of our officers, who was a Mecklenburg officer at the time, saw some people in need,” Putney said. “And he knew the spirit of this community. So he asked for some people to make their Christmas a little brighter.”
This year the project is providing more than 7,300 children and 1,400 seniors Christmas gifts.
The former Walmart facility on Arrowood Road in Charlotte is acting as the Salvation Army’s Christmas center. There, families can pick up the toys that were donated by the community. Among those donations are more than 3,000 bicycles.
Salvation Army leaders say every 15 minutes, 50 families will walk through the doors to pick up gifts.