A Tulsa outreach center is marking its 20th year making a difference for families at Christmas. Tulsa Dream Center held its 20th annual toy giveaway – giving over 3,000 gifts plus groceries to families in need all across Green Country.
But for Aaron Johnson, Executive Director of the Tulsa Dream Center, the event means more than the gifts.
“Today is so special because I truly believe every child deserves a toy at Christmas and that’s why today means so much,” Johnson told News On 6.
Johnson and his staff help hundreds of people on a daily basis. He said he has come full circle from when he was helped as a kid.
“I grew up in a single parent home and my mom used to come out and get groceries, and to now be in a position to help thousands more people on a weekly and monthly basis, it touches my heart,” Johnson said.
Now, Johnson oversees the Dream Center's largest toy giveaway event - giving out thousands of presents, hams, turkeys and other grocery items to people in need, such as Nola Greeny, who has her hands full with six kids under one roof.
“It means a whole lot; it lets me know God is working in mysterious ways and there are people that care about you and your family. You’re not counted out you’re counted in,” Greeny said.
Johnson said they only started taking donations in the past two weeks and that much of the donations came from area organizations and nonprofits. Even with two giveaway times at 9:30 and 11:30, thousands of people filled the room each time.
“It’s a wonderful thing that our children will be able to have Christmas this year,” recipient Courtney Taylor said.
Johnson said his heart is full knowing he's helping thousands, with the very organization who helped him.
“I think to be in a position to continue to serve people, in the end the only things that matters is to serve others, it’s an honor, I’m excited to be here,” Johnson said.