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Volunteers bring holiday cheer to children living with Spina Bifida

Dozens of volunteers, many of them teenagers, spent their Saturday night bringing Christmas cheer to children and their families.

SAN ANTONIO — Volunteers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints wrapped Christmas gifts, decorated a community center and help put together a grand holiday dinner all to help children of the Spina Bifida Texas organization.

16 year-old Kennedi Lichlyter said she has volunteered to help with the Christmas Party before and her favorite part is seeing the children's reactions.

"They don't even care how bad my wrapping job is," Lichlyter said. "They are just super overwhelmingly excited and it just makes me more grateful for volunteering and for what I have."

When the doors opened, more than 100 families filled the Lady Bird Johnson Park community center for the event.

At the arts and crafts table were two best friends, Vivian Perez and Noelani Spicer.

"There's no way we can separate them," Greg Spicer, Noelani's father said.

The pair were brought together when they were just babies, after their parents joined Spina Bifida Texas .

"What I love about Spina Bifida [Texas] they didn't make us feel scared after our daughter was diagnosed; they walked us through pretty much everything," said Frank Perez, Vivan's father. "It brings everyone together and you don't feel like you're going through this alone."

The families have been attending the annual Christmas Party since it was created a couple years ago.

"The first one was actually at a school cafeteria," Perez said. "They get to see Santa and open gifts, it's pretty neat."