Hundreds gather gifts for needy kids at Catawba County Christmas Bureau

NEWTON, NC (WBTV) - The Salvation Army's annual Christmas Bureau opened its doors at the Fairgrounds in Newton on Monday. Families who had signed up and qualified were able to come and pick up presents for the children.

Angel Tree gifts were given out and there was a chance for parents to select clothing and additional toys for their children. Officials said despite a growing economy in the area there are still a lot of families struggling.

"The need is definitely there," said Salvation Army Captain Bethany Delaney.

More than 700 families were slated to come to the bureau this year. The giveaway, Delaney says, requires a year-long effort by several local groups. Among those helping out was the Hickory Fire Department.

Firefighters, along with several local businesses such as Century Furniture and Cosmos Motors, helped to raised tens of thousands of dollars to buy brand new bicycles. Firefighters from across the county got together to assemble them.

More than 600 bikes will be given out at the Salvation Army Christmas Bureau this year.

Judy Watson picked up two bikes for her grandchildren and said the giveaway was a wonderful thing.

"They're gonna be a lot of happy young ones," she said.

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