Christmas came early for thousands of families in Dallas, who packed Fair Park Saturday morning for the annual "Christmas in the Park" celebration.
Each of them walked away with new toys, bikes, shoes, coats, clothes, food and more -- organizers wanted to make sure the families had everything they needed for the holidays.
The event is the passion project of a nonprofit called the S.M. Wright Foundation, which works year-round to give deserving families in Dallas a leg up.
"Sometimes during the holidays, it gets depressing for a lot of families," said s.M. Wright II, the president and CEO of the foundation. "But now, we're here and we're giving that joy they need. And they are very excited today."
Ashley Derrick was one of those excited and grateful parents. As a single mother, she wasn't sure what Christmas was going to look like for her kids. But after going through Christmas in the Park, she's confident they'll have one of their best holidays ever.
"It means the world to me," Derrick said. "Because each and every one of [my kids] can have a smile on their face. I really can't provide for them. So to see them glowing is awesome. It's amazing."
This year's event helped more than 44,000 people.