Alexander County sheriff deputies helped bring Christmas joy to an 8-year-old boy Wednesday.
Scott Heavner has been living near Taylorsville since deputies said his mother died in California in 2011. Since then, his great-aunt has done her best to raise him.
Sheriff Chris Bowman, along with several deputies, carried the presents into the home west of Taylorsville. Inside, the boy’s great aunt, Mary Heavner, couldn't stop crying as Christmas arrived early.
"My little boy,” the aunt said.” I've never been able to give him a good Christmas. I couldn't afford it."
Scott arrived home from school Wednesday to find the Christmas tree decorated and gifts throughout the home. Deputies bought him everything from clothes and toys to his own TV and a video game system.
"I've tried to do all I can for that baby,” she said. “To give him a happy life. To show him people do care. And God bless you all."
"I feel very happy for all you doing this,” Scott said. “And I really do love it."
The deputies also filled the kitchen with food including a ham for Christmas dinner. The sheriff said many of those deputies chipped in money, along with other organizations in the county.
"All the deputies involved in this feel the same way,” Bowman said. “This is what Christmas is about -- giving."
Deputies said they aren't done yet. On Christmas Eve, they plan on bringing gifts to 16 more children whose parents are in jail.