BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Many Birmingham families are in need this holiday season and for several, Santa came early today. This year’s Magic City Toy Drive helped to provide Christmas for hundreds.

The joy in the atmosphere was second to none for those giving and receiving today. CBS42 spoke with several who say this toy drive means the world to them and truly brings the magic of Christmas to life.

Cars of families circled around the Birmingham Crossplex anticipating their bundle of gifts. Many individuals were filled with emotion and gratitude.

“I am grateful to be here to get extra toys for my babies,” said one Birmingham mother.  

“Thank you! I’m glad their heart is so good- very good hearts,” said another family member receiving assistance. “It’s love and spirit around this world.”

DYS director Galvin Billups says nearly 400 families are served, and that the Magic City Toy Drive is part of their mission to put the people of Birmingham first.

“And then on top of that, we see so many families both in the public safety side and the youth services side that needs the help,” said Billups. “So, it is just our honor to be able to stand with them and give them a little bit of joy for this Christmas.”

Volunteers from CBS 42 took the time to lend a helping hand at the distribution as well.

CBS 42 traffic anchor Kristen McIntosh says she benefitted from toy drives as a child and that this is a full-circle moment for her.

“Just the fact that I can give somebody what I got,” said McIntosh. “You know, I always had gifts under the Christmas tree because my mom would do what she needed to do, but it was also events like these, people donating things so that we could have a good Christmas too.” 

CBS 42 morning anchor Andrea Lindenberg says there is not a dry eye by the time distribution ends.

” There are so many people struggling and to be able to see them blessed and to help those children they love and they’re raising, it’s just a miracle- it really is,” said Lindenberg.

Overall, those involved say they hope these families will have a peaceful Christmas knowing that their children will wake up to several blessings on Christmas morning.