It wasn’t exactly a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. But much like Santa’s sleigh it was an amazing group of companies, individuals, families, and organizations that came together to provide the same result as our jolly friend from the North Pole, as many happy children and their families found on Christmas morning.

There are a number of things that separate the Ingles Toy Store and the Eblen Charities Saint Nicholas Project from all the other wonderful Christmas assistance programs in our area. Again partnering this year with Ingles Markets, the Smoky Mountain Toy Run, Mission Hospital, Barnes and Noble Biltmore Park, iHeart Media, WLOS- TV, My 40 TV, Buncombe County Schools, Mission Hospital, Friday’s Staffing, and hundreds of other wonderful volunteers, companies and organizations that came together this past month, we all brought a very bright and Merry Christmas to thousands of children and their families this past Christmas Season.

There is no doubt that thanks to our partners and the kindness of so many, the St. Nicholas Project and the Ingles Magical Toy Drive helped to bring smiles to so many wonderful children in our community on Christmas morning. But as our outreach grew this year so did the support to make this Christmas so much brighter in these difficult times.

For the sixth year the Saint Nicholas Project teamed with Ingles Markets in operating the Ingles Toy Store. Thanks to the generosity of Tony and Isa Fraga who donated the old Bon Marche’ Department Store and allowed us to transform it into a wonderful space, our clients were given the opportunity to shop the entire store as they chose their children’s presents as they would in any other store.

Our heartfelt gratitude to all who joined us this year in adopting families, setting up and working in the toy store, donated toys and money, picked up and delivered, and were a part of the St. Nicholas Project this year. Thanks to all of you, this Christmas the wonderful children and families we serve had a memorable Christmas this year.

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