PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dozens of Allegheny County families will have presents under the tree this year thanks to donations from Highmark.

Bags and bags of presents, everything from toys and electronics to clothing. These gifts, stacked up in the Highmark building Downtown, will go to 75 families.

“When you see this, it really makes you want to cry because it’s very emotional and to see all of this come together and knowing that we are serving families in Allegheny County, it really makes us really happy,” said Alex Matthews, a Highmark volunteer leader.

The project was a real team effort by Highmark. Over the past month, more than 1,100 employees contributed either with money or donations.

“The call went out and the number of employees who really responded to the call, they just stepped up and really did a wonderful job supplying gifts for these families, it’s just heartwarming,” said Matthews.

Volunteers loaded the gifts onto a truck. They will go to the Salvation Army warehouse, and from there to Salvation Army worship and service centers throughout the county.

Closer to Christmas, families will pick up the presents.

“Our families are going to be just overjoyed,” said Leah Horcholic, of the Salvation Army. “These are families that have faced some sort of crisis in the past six months to a year, maybe it’s a loss of a job, maybe it’s a loss of a family member and they didn’t think Christmas was possible until they walk through our doors.”

Kids and their parents will have a better Christmas thanks to the partnership between Highmark and the Salvation Army.

“Every year it kind of gets to me,” added Horcholic. “Every year I think it gets bigger, it looks bigger, you see how many bikes come in or how many bags of presents come in and these folks they just enjoy what they do so much and the support that they give us, it’s overwhelming. It means the world to us.”

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