Motorcycle club delivers 800 stockings to underprivileged children Christmas Eve

Tina Cooper pays for many of the items for the stockings out of her own pocket. (Image: WTVC)

The Santa Train wrapped up another year last night. It's been The Forgotten Child Fund's annual tradition in Chattanooga since 1962.

The Santa Train is made up of first responders and their vehicles. Citizens and organizations drop off gifts to pre-selected children in need on Christmas Eve.

But this year, 800 other kids received a gift too.

In this week's Pay It Forward, Jessica Harthorn surprises the woman who organized that toy collection.

Tina Cooper and the Southern Cruisers Motorcycle Riding Club have been a part of the Santa Train for several years.

She says they noticed hundreds of kids running out of their homes to witness the festive fanfare, but didn't receive a gift.

So she made it her mission the last few years to stuff as many stockings as possible.

Santa's a busy man on Christmas Eve, it's why the Forgotten Child Fund teams up with Ole' St. Nick to bring gifts to underprivileged children on the Santa Train.

"These kids, this may be the only thing they get, this may be the only thing their family gets," said Cheryl Moore.

Moore says this year, 800 extra stockings were stuffed by the Southern Cruisers and passed out to other children and the elderly watching the Santa Train go by.

We were there a week earlier, as the club frantically filled the festive feet during their monthly meeting.

There were candy, toys, toiletries, you name it.

Cheryl says the woman who collected it all is her friend Tina Cooper, who pays for many of the items out of her own pocket.

We recorded her in action from afar and followed Cheryl to catch the emotional surprise.

"Tina Cooper, don't you hide, don't you hide, you come here. For the Forgotten Child Fund, to make sure none of the children are forgotten at Christmas, on behalf of Newschannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm, I'm here to Pay It Forward. Hold your hand out," said Cheryl.

"Are you serious?" asked Tina.

"I'm serious! 100, 200, 300, 400, $500," surprised Cheryl.

"Some kids, we hand them a stocking and they cry, because that's all they get is what we give them. And that's why I work so hard to get what I can for them," said Tina.

Merry Christmas Tina, and thank you for being one of Santa's helpers!

Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others in the community? Nominate them here.

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