The "Empty Stocking Fund" is celebrating a major milestone this year.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel said its charitable effort, which helps thousands of needy families in East Tennessee, has grown considerably since it began exactly 100 years ago.
Volunteers passed out basket of foods and toys on Saturday morning just ahead of Christmas.
The "Empty Stocking Fund" has been helping East Tennessee families since 1912. Knoxville News-Sentinel Senior Marketing Manager Angie Howell said the charitable effort has come a long way over the past century.
"In the beginning in 1912, our first donation was a nickel from a little boy," said Howell. "That year we delivered 250 baskets to needy families in East Tennessee. Now, a 100 years later, we're doing 3,600 baskets and 3,000 toys and books to children."
Howell said the food from all 3,600 baskets will feed nearly 10,000 people for a week. She said tons of kids had smiles on their faces today after they were given a special Christmas toy.