NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Mission teamed up with Creole Cuisine, Saturday, to give more than 700 toys and bikes for local children.
Hundreds of families gathered at the mission to make sure their kids got something special for Christmas.
More than 20 bikes were given to first arrivals. On top of that, kids got to meet Santa and picked from a large pile of gifts.
Organizers said this year was the biggest turn out, with about 250 people.
"I'm going to have to teach him how to ride the bike with no training wheels on it. He loves bikes. Nothing but bikes," Shvrenoica Smith said.
"I have to raise this two year old child, and I thank God for our first Christmas together," Amy Jones said.
"We roughly have about 77,000 kids in the city of New Orleans of need and this is very small thing we could do to help," Creole Cuisine CEO Marviani Ammari said.
Ammari said they are hoping to double the amount of gifts next year.
New Orleans Police Department partnered with a local business to help deliver hundreds of bikes in New Orleans East.
Kaleidoscope Hair Studio Owner Jessica Dupart donated 562 bikes to four organizations in the community, and gave out more than 100 bikes at her store Saturday morning.
More than 50 police recruits volunteered to help drop them off at the different locations.
"It's just a very powerful thing that I feel connected to. The New Orleans Police Department, I feel connected to the community. I'm just so happy to give back because my community does so much for me. 600 bikes sounds like a lot, but then to see and to have the manpower that they had. I was just emotionally overwhelmed period," Kaleidoscope Owner Jesseca Dupart said.
Dupart says this is her first year organizing this, and hopes it will be even bigger next year.
NOPD also gifted kids from several families with bikes and toys at their headquarters.
Eight families who were victims of violent crimes were recipients.
This is the first year they've put this on, and the gifts were donated by NOPD employees.
"It's very important because it uplifts their spirits and we want to just keep this thing going," Commander Derek Frick said.
"My favorite part is that I'm getting a new bike because my bike, it has handle brakes but my back brake broke," 10-year-old Jack Wilkinson said.
The Victim Assistance Unit said they work closely with these families to provide them with the help they need to recover from trauma.