$10,000 worth of Christmas gifts going to Knox Co. families thanks to TikTok star

A Knoxville TikTok star raised thousands of dollars to buy 250 Christmas gifts for kids being raised by their grandparents or other relatives.
250 Presents Donated to Grandparents as Parents Program
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:40 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville TikTok star raised thousands of dollars to buy 250 Christmas gifts for kids being raised by their grandparents or other relatives.

Leslie Segla got the idea to raise money then buy presents online last year. But this year she went bigger. She got 250 gifts for the Grandparents as Parents program with the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee.

“Not one gift is the same and I think that’s what’s cool about it,” said Segla.

She got donations then bought gifts like airpods, dolls and balls.

“With a one-income family, time’s get tough,” said Angela Burchfield, a grandmother raising her two grandsons, “It’s heartwarming, it really is. Because they wouldn’t be getting gifts like this if it wasn’t for programs like this. There’s no way we could do it.”

Segla chose to give the presents to the Grandparents as Parents program because Segla’s grandma took her in after her mom died.

“I can remember her like having to have so much help. And it’s hard to know what kids want when you’ve already raised kids and they’re already out of the house and then to raise them again.”

Segla also got 50 gift cards to help homeless teens along with a $500 check for Isaiah House.

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