JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) - The holidays are known to be a time of year to spend time with family, but thousands of local military families will be spending this season without their loved service members.
Care packages were given out to nearly one thousand military spouses and their children in Jacksonville Wednesday, but the event almost didn't happen this year because of Hurricane Florence.
The warehouse was flooded that stored all the care packages. Additionally, the need for this event was much greater this year because of the hurricane. The event that normally attracts 450 people attracted nearly one thousand.
Sponsors of the nonprofit organization Support Military Spouses came together in the last 3 months to replace all the destroyed care packages to make sure military families did not go without this Christmas holiday.
Military Spouse Colleen Dosch said, "Events like this are critical, especially to moms with kids. A lot of people don't realize how hard it really is. Motherhood is hard, and having this community come together, and be able to get our kids out of the house, and leave during the winter, and take them out and get these free gifts that are donated is absolutely amazing."
Volunteers from Wells Fargo helped hand out packages, while a local McDonald's was there to provide free breakfast.
The care packages contained toys for the children, including bears that were donated by Build A Bear workshop.