Christmas cheer for 350 area children from inner-city Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- 350 children gathered at the old West Huntsville Elementary School for an annual Christmas party Sunday.

It was put on by Friends of 400, a Christian nonprofit that serves people in inner-city Huntsville, in partnership with Huntsville West.

With the party came large gift bags for each child. The gifts were made possible through donations from area churches and volunteers coming together in support.

"It's just a way for us to give back to the community. We've been given much, and we want to share that with the children," said Mitch Eubank, a member of Friends of 400.

Families lined up to receive bags of presents. Many needed help to take them to their vehicles.

Santa was also on hand, taking pictures with kids and their families.

Brandon Kruse donated the space in the old school building. He bought it from Huntsville City Schools and has plans to turn it into an entrepreneurship center.

"You can't go out and start affecting the area without touching the people who are right next to you," he said about hosting the Christmas party, "I'm really hoping [the nonprofit] grows exponentially. And we're hoping the space allows them to do that."

Eubank said it has made a difference.

"It's allowed us to have a little more square footage [than we had before], and allowed us to bring more families in to just sit and enjoy," he commented.

Hilal Abdullah, who attended the party, told us that receiving these gifts helps him remember the true meaning of Christmas.

"I think Christmas means you get together and know more about Jesus and celebrate giving," he said.