Family House has big Christmas celebration thanks to giving community, organizations

    A Family House child was sitting on Santa's lap when he received several presents (WNWO).

    Christmas may be three weeks away, but it came early to those at Family House.

    Two local businesses spent several weeks collecting money and gifts for the children at the shelter.

    They started out with a small goal, giving one gift to all 70 children and Family House.

    Slowly, it evolved into a much bigger Christmas celebration, like nothing they've seen before.

    "What my expectation is and what they delivered is about 10,000 times more than anybody could have ever expected," said President of Board of Directors at Family House, Dino Peluso.

    While the children at Family House were enjoying some pizza, Thomas Knier of Mavillino Custom Home Builders and Brandon Johnson of Team Johnson Limos were organizing a visit with Santa Claus.

    "It's now gone to the point where we've actually created the ability to transport people for a night, and show them that, not only is Toledo a great community, but the Glass City is the family they need," said Knier.

    Each child got a personalized presents and a gift bag. They were also able to show off their gifts to Princess Belle and Batman.

    One of the biggest surprises for the kids was a brand new play area upstairs. The two companies worked together by painting the walls, buying brand new furniture, gathering games and a beauty studio to help people out before interviews.

    While purchasing the furniture, they ran into one of Family House's former residents, who now is a Customer Service Representative at Appliance Center, and knew they wanted to share this event with her.

    "It's remarkable because Family House is one of the hidden gems in our community, and the fact that someone is willing to help them out, so that they can help other families is amazing," stated former resident, Tiffeny Davis.

    The night ended with everyone loading up in stretch limos, mega party lounge buses and more, and taking a trip across Toledo to see all the Christmas lights.

    "We're going to do this every year. Pick the right cause, the right thing and having two companies pull together makes it so much easier," exclaimed Johnson.

    This is the second year Team Johnson has organized a gift drive. The two organizations are establishing a trade mark for next year as, "Partners in Charity."

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