Area nonprofit wraps gifts, recognized for charitable impact

By Isak Dinesen

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) -- Nine days before Christmas, a Stevens Point house turned into Santa's Workshop.

The Ananiadis family has sought out to help families have a better holiday for several years, creating the nonprofit "Lexi's Love," and they, with lots of help, wrapped hundreds of gifts Friday night.

"It's cool to see that people in our community actually care," Lexi said.

The family received requests for gifts and other essential needs from 14 families this year, which is a boost from their normal volume.

Lexi, her siblings, her mom, and several members of Stevens Point Area Senior High's National Honor Society were on hand wrapping hundreds of gifts for children six weeks to 16 years old.

"I kind of got all the help from everybody that I could, because I knew I wasn't going to be able to do 14 families by myself," said Brooke Ananiadis, Lexi's mother.

These charitable efforts had started nearly eight years ago as a much smaller operation, after Lexi had noticed families out on the street while at a cheer competition in Chicago.

"One Christmas, I was like, 'Mom, I want to donate to some people, give Christmas gifts,' and it started off with one or two families," Lexi recalled.

Just like many other years, they were not just giving toys to children, but also food and hygiene equipment that anyone can use.

"Most of our families asked for basic needs this year, so to us, if they're asking for basic needs, they're in need of a lot," Brooke said.

Before all the gifts go out for delivery in the next few days, Lexi was surprised by receiving a Citation of Commendation from State Representative Katrina Shankland, which recognized her for her generosity and charitable efforts.

"It makes me very happy in that me and my mom are helping people in this world that need help when no one else is willing to step up and help," Lexi said.

If you'd like to learn more about Lexi's Love, click here.