By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hundreds of children in need enjoyed a special Christmas surprise in Baltimore on Saturday.

Bea Gaddy, a well-known homeless advocate, started the Baltimore Christmas tradition in 1983. Since then, the event has continued to provide gifts for kids in need.

It’s a joyous celebration for Baltimore families.

“Makes you feel like somebody really does care, and it’s heartwarming,” Baltimore resident Sharnell Carter said.

This is Carter’s second year attending the Christmas party, which she says makes her family’s Christmas shine even brighter.

“It touches your heart. I even teared up when he got his bike,” Carter said.

Every year, the organization hands out clothes, toys and food to hundreds children in need.

The event honoring the late Bea Gaddy’s legacy continues on through her daughter.

“A lot of hugs out there today, because we are one of the last organizations people can turn to for help,” Cynthia Brooks, Bea Gaddy’s daughter, said.

The event epitomizes embracing the spirit of giving to create a merrier holiday for children who need it the most.

“The best season of the year. If we could keep that feeling in our heart throughout the year, we would be a pretty good city,” Brooks said.

Donations for the event pour in from families all across Maryland, as well from law enforcement and Toys for Tots.

Since 1981, the Bea Gaddy Family Center has helped those in need during the holidays. Their annual Thanksgiving dinner feeds thousands of people in the region.

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