Danville, VA - A Pittsylvania County woman opened her home and her heart to help needy families this Christmas.
Barbara Shelton and members of her Bible study group held an open house at Shelton's home as a fundraiser.
After raising more than $1,000, the group of ladies from Blessed Hope Church made this Christmas a little brighter for families fallen on hard times.
Barbara Shelton starts her Christmas decorating in September every year.
She's done open houses in the past to give people a chance to see her beautiful decorations and raise money for charity.
But this is the first year she got her church involved.
"Our Bible study group decided we would do this for a mission project. We would help families in Pittsylvania County that were less fortunate than us, " said Shelton.
And the ladies in the group say they didn't have to search very far for families in need.
"I think the Lord led these families to us because we really didn't ask anybody, " said Bible study member Jackie Mize.
After the open house, they took the monetary donations and purchased food, toiletries and toys to the families.
The gifts were delivered last week, just in time to go under the tree.
"We wrapped up gifts last Tuesday morning and everybody just thoroughly enjoyed it, " said Carolyn Adkins.
The ladies said the families were overwhelmed with gratitude when they received the gifts.
"It brought tears to their eyes, so it was very successful, " Adkins said.
For them, that's what Christmas is all about.
"Giving is better than receiving. My Christmas was doing this for them, " said Shelton.
The women's Bible study group said they're not sure what their next mission will be, but they plan to keep in touch with the families they helped and will check in on them throughout the year.