Christmas is a season of remembrance for the Ellis family. It's when their daughter, Amanda, was diagnosed with cancer.
"It was hard for us," said Cheryl Ellis, Amanda's mother. "We were in the hospital and Santa Claus brings us these little bags for the kids and that just helped get us through."
Their strength made an impression on the Norman's, a family in their Sunday School class.
"We would leave the room in tears thinking wow, we could never do that," said Bobby Norman.
Today, the Norman's are facing the same struggle. Their five year old, Nathan, has cancer in his brain and spine. Click here to see our original story about Nathan.
"When Nathan was diagnosed, I knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling," Ellis said.
Amanda died seven years ago. Nathan is still taking treatments.
Both families could be sad this Christmas, but they're choosing to be joyful and share that spirit with others. They're fixing up gift bags and taking them to sick children in nearby hospitals.
"It allows us to honor our daughter and to help other families who are walking through that valley we've been through," said Chris Ellis, Amanda's father.
The bags are filled with toys. Some are for boys, others are for girls. Each one has a copy of the Bible, and that's a gift not every hospital has been willing to receive.
The families say that has been hurtful. Sharing their faith is a big part of their mission.
"These bags, with the Bibles and the tracks in them, were showing them that there is more. There is so much more than this life," said Norman.
The Normans started this effort a few years ago, on a smaller scale.
"It was really just a spur of the moment thing where we said 'hey, lets do something'," said Norman.
This Christmas, they started with a goal of making 1,000 bags, but even that grew.
"Bobby (Norman) was like, lets do 1,500," Cheryl Ellis said. "We looked at him like he was crazy."
Today, the count is up to 3,000, thanks to Liberty Christian Academy.
"We just wanted to help, any way possible," said LCA student, Lewis Williams. "We just wanted to contribute."
LCA students donated more than 1,500 bags, helping the families achieve their goal of creating a better Christmas for others.
"For some of the kids, this is the only Christmas they will get," said Cheryl Ellis. "Sometimes the families are choosing Christmas or Chemo at this point and chemo wins out, so letting them have a few toys, crayons, and the Bible really means a lot."
Instead of focusing on their own worries, these families are more concerned about giving others the Merry Christmas they deserve.