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Hundreds of Collier County families were able to spend $100 for each child under 18, starting at 6 a.m.

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Christina Mora and her 17-year-old daughter Bianka Guadian didn't need a sleigh with reindeer to navigate Walmart's crowded aisles in search of the perfect gifts.

All they needed was some Christmas spirit and a large shopping cart.

Saturday morning, hundreds of Collier families divided $100,000 from Joy of Giving, a Marco Island nonprofit organization that raises money every year for the shopping event. 

Doors opened at 6 a.m. at a Walmart on Collier Boulevard in East Naples. 

About 1,000 kids up to age  18 were given $100 each to spend on gifts.

Mora, a mother of six, had $600 to work with. 

"The older my children get, the harder it is to find gifts," she said as she contemplated between a neon scooter or an all-in-one toy nursery.

She opted for the latter, a gift for her younger daughter, she said.

"This makes me so excited," Bianka said about shopping for her brothers and sisters.

Other gifts included a scooter, a Play-Doh set, and a baby doll that eats and drinks.

Nikki Davis founded Joy of Giving almost 30 years ago. 

"We work three or four months out of the year to prepare for this," she said. "How can you retire when it's the holidays?"

The nonprofit group works with guidance counselors across many Collier County schools to identify families who need assistance.

Davis credited local donors and volunteers for making the annual event possible every year.

The Island Country Club on Marco Island raised $60,000 and handed out turkeys as families left the store.

Angela Pacheco smiled as she watched her three young children marvel over their toys.

"I'm so happy because my children needed something like this," she said in Spanish. 

Her daughter, Angela Perez, 11, chose a pink and black bike and two trendy outfits. Her sons, Emanuel, 6, and Giovanni, 7, opted for several Hot Wheels toys and a Batman-themed bike to share.

"I love toys," Giovanni said when asked what his favorite part of Christmas is.

Volunteer Mary Carney assisted the family with finding gifts in the large retail store.

The Immokalee preschool teacher high-fived each kid after they chose their gifts. 

"It's all about giving back," Carney said. 

Pacheco said if it wasn't for this event, she probably wouldn't have had enough money to buy gifts this year. 

When her children's school, Mike Davis Elementary in East Naples, called her to give her the good news, she said, "I couldn't believe it."

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