TAMPA (FOX 13) - A woman's mission to bring Christmas to more than 100 children in Seminole Heights became a reality thanks to the generosity of dozens of strangers and the internet.
Dozens and dozens of kids tore into nicely wrapped Christmas gifts like it was a race. Volunteer turned Santa's helper, Carolynn Smith made it all possible.
But it wasn't always smiles, gifts, and fun. Just before Thanksgiving, Carolynn posted an emotional video on Facebook.
She had just learned the kids at the Boys and Girls Club in Belmont and Seminole Heights did not have any sponsors for their annual Christmas party.
She believes all the bad publicity of the Seminole Heights murders had spooked many people from the area.
So with a broken spirit and a tremendous heart, she decided to adopt all 125 kids herself and launched a GoFundMe page to get some help.
"I know it's a strong calling in my life to help a lot of people especially inner city youth and kids in general," she said in her video.
With the generosity of dozens of strangers, she was able to fulfill Christmas wishes for all of the children.
"When it went over $7,500 it was amazing," Smith said.
Every Christmas wish was granted. Every party favor was enjoyed. But there was a greater message for Smith.
"Always remember you can't help everyone but you can always help someone," Carolynn told the kids.
The moral of this story writes itself. One person can change the world.
"If it's in your heart and it's something you want to do to make a difference; when there's a will there's a way," she said.