FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- If you think Christmas shopping for your children is tough, imagine doing it for 16 children as a single parent.
Monday night, two local girls helped pull off a big surprise for a local mother and her growing family.
Terah Mills and Brianna Ramdatt, both in fourth grade, attend the Boys and Girls Club in St. Lucie County.
Several weeks ago, Terah got an idea to collect toys for foster children in the area and Brianna teamed up with her to help make it happen.
They started their own toy drive with help from leadership at the Boys and Girls Club and collected upwards of 600 toys.
They were also given a monetary donation of $1,500.
Terah and Brianna took that money to go shopping for the family of Ashley Erickson.
Monday night, they helped deliver the presents to Erickson's Fort Pierce home.
“Honestly I was still trying to figure it out and shop. I would have pulled it off, but it would have been slim. They definitely would have had something, they’d never go without, but nothing like this,” Erickson said.
Erickson says she has always had a big place in her heart for children.
“I’ve always had that social work in me. I love kids. I’ve always loved kids. My mom was adopted.”
She has four biological children. Over the years, she has adopted multiple groups of siblings, wanting to make sure they can stick together.
“I’d have to say the kids’ laughter. That gives it all back. Bad day, you hear them laughing and giggling, and it just makes it all worth it,” Erickson said.
Boys and Girls Club of St. Lucie County CEO Will Armstead thanked the girls for their hard work. “I’m proud of you... you guys are a big deal,” Armstead said.
“We went to the stores. We got the toys. We wrapped them,” Terah said.
Armstead said this shows family is not all about blood. “It really comes down to a community coming together,” Armstead said.
Monday night, the Erickson family grew even more, adding the girls and all of their supporters to the people welcome in her home.
Okeechobee Steakhouse also donated Christmas dinner to the family.