Co-workers rally together to make Christmas happen

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Money is tight for everyone this time of year especially for seniors raising their grandchildren. But with a little help from the Community Action Center's Office on Aging Christmas will happen for dozens of children.

Linda Estidge is a grandparent who found herself raising children for the third time in a row.

"Social security doesn't go that far. I had to go back to work to meet the needs of my great grand-kids. They are a blessing and I don't mind working but sometimes there's just not enough money to go around." said Linda

So Linda has looked to the C.A.C Office on Aging's "Grandparents as Parents" toy giveaway for help. However, this year the program director, Edna was in a serious car accident that set her behind schedule.

The toy giveaway was in jeopardy until some co-workers stepped in to help.

Bonnie Lyle of the C.A.C Office on Aging said "We realized that Edna still had a lot of work to do and we knew we couldn't let these children go without presents this year. We all got together and found donations for the toys within one week."

The donations came in from all over the community including St. Mark United Methodist Church that donated more than 150 books. BB&T also stepped up to help with a donation of $400.00, enough to buy stuffed animals for all the children.

Rusty Seymore of BB&T said "It's one of our core missions to help the community we all live in. When we got the call to help; we didn't hesitate. We knew it was the right thing to do."

Tuesday, the grandparents met for their holiday party and went home with enough gifts that they'll be proud to put under the tree.

"It's a true blessing. The Christmas spirit is alive and well right here in Knoxville. It makes me proud to be a part of this community." said Linda