Christmas came early for more than 2,600 kids whose families couldn't afford gifts this year

On a scale of one to 10, how excited do you think James Lee was to race his remote control Ford Mustang?

"A million!"

More than 2,600 kid's smiles stretched just as far off the charts Friday for the annual Adopt A Child for Christmas Program. The joy unfolding in TCF Center in downtown Detroit where adopting families and adopted kids coalesced for one big pre-Christmas celebration.

"I got a coat, two outfits, like a set where I can make a teddy bear," said Caleea Young.

"When I had saw it I didn't know if I was supposed to use it right now or use it later so I just took it out the box and started playing with it because I saw somebody else using theirs," said James Lee.

Adopt A Child for Christmas started 59 years ago when the late Delores Bennett learned about a single mom who didn't have enough money to afford Christmas gifts for her children. Since then, the celebration has skyrocketed to help thousands of families whose budgets and chimneys are a bit too tight for Saint Nick to dole out gifts.

"Without Adopt a Child this year would've been very hard for me due to the fact that I am disabled and I am on a fixed income so it's kind of hard to try and take care of home and also make sure your kid has a good Christmas," said Meko Powell. "She's a great kid, gets good grades in school so it's very thankful and it's a blessing for me and my family."

Don't think this is just a happy affair for the recipients. The donors wore smiles just as large Dec. 6, hauling bags and bags of toys for every kid to enjoy. Just ask the Hardens.

"And of course God blessed us with a daughter. She was actually a miracle and we are still believing for a son and other children, but we said, 'hey we can still have other children outside our biological children' so why not continue to extend the blessings we have to the other children and families that are in need?" said Greg Harden.

Want to get involved next year? Send an email to or visit their website here: