TAMPA, Fla. -- There's something about a Santa hat that makes everyone holly, jolly. And by golly, on this day, Reg and Allison get to make a very special delivery.
“Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas!” they shout as they enter the Carver City Civic Association building.
This group of grandparents waiting inside reached out to 10News for a little holiday help. And 10News staff came through in a big way--purchasing dozens of gifts—for all the grandchildren in their care.
“This is good stuff,” says Reg Roundtree, shaking a box near his ear.
“It's amazing. I thought it was amazing that Channel 10 was coming,” explains Mary Helen Davis, who is raising three grandchildren.
For the kids, it's all about what's inside the paper. “Choo Choo train,” shouts one little boy, upon opening his package.
However, for the grandparents, all the boxes and bags are also a sign of support.
“It's to let you know that you're loved, people care about you and want to be here for you,” Reg tells the group.
One of the kids received the board game “The Game of Life” and just like that game, real-life pulled a fast one on these grandmothers. They're in charge of raising youngsters once again.
“That was not in the game plan,” Davis says with a laugh. “That was not in the plan.”
And the commitment takes a toll. “It's no easy job. It is a hard job. You have to give up a lot to raise your grandkids,” explains Lois Buie, who is raising four grandchildren.
But the grandparents are all doing right by their family. “I wanted to raise my grandkids,” says Catherine Iwaisi, raising four. “I wanted them in my life.”
And, by all accounts, the grandparents are doing a great job. “She works hard, she feeds us, she treats us good,” eight-year-old Kamaury Jemison told us.
“I appreciate my grandmother very much,” says 15-year-old Jalois Bowick. “I tell her I love her every day.”