CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - There were a lot of smiling faces Thursday. More than 500 kids were surprised with a Christmas gift at Burns Elementary.
Over the next two days Charleston Hope, a local non-profit will go into nearly 80 classrooms surprising almost 1,500 kids. Burns Elementary was the first stop on their list.
Many volunteers helped out carrying box after box to every classroom.
Emily Hoisington, founder of Charleston Hope said, "Really what we hope these students take away is not that someone just came and brought a gift and then left. These people are coming back each year and coming back in the spring to visit with us and do other stuff like that."
Hoisington, a College of Charleston student started the Adopt a Classroom program three years ago as high school student.
"Last year it jumped from two classrooms to two schools. We did Charleston Progressive and Burns," said Hoisington.
The sophomore is juggling a lot between work and her busy schedule.
Hoisington said, "It's late nights, but we're able to get it done."
Hoisington's efforts have now transformed into something bigger, a non-profit organization called Charleston Hope.
"This year we added on another school, so it's just been incredible to see the growth and support that we've gotten from the community," said Hoisington.
Through Charleston Hope local businesses and volunteers have been able to adopt a classroom buying toys for every kid.
The Medical University of South Carolina human resource department bought 18 toys for a 5th grade class.
Ginnell Birch, a volunteer from MUSC said, "A lot of times people use this time of year for receiving but to have the opportunity to give back and put a smile on these kids faces is priceless."
The kids at Burns Elementary also got dessert along with their gift.
Charleston Progressive Academy and Sanders-Clyde Elementary will get a visit Friday.
Those students will all get a toy along with a hot lunch.