PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Looking ahead to the holiday season, a local non-profit needs help to make this Christmas a magical one for local families in need.

A Working Family’s Christmas is holding their third annual fundraiser gala next week – a night filled with food, drinks and community. Marking this year’s “Dark Circus” theme, the gala will also feature contortionists and magicians.

A Working Family’s Christmas gala will be held Friday, Sept. 15 at the Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver. Tickets are available online.

The non-profit began in 2018 after founder Heather Sanders said she and her husband noticed local families needed help over the holidays.

“My husband and I noticed a great need in the Portland area for families with children. They’re working, they’re not qualifying for a lot of assistance, but they need a little help around the holidays just to take a weight off their shoulders and that’s what we try to do,” Sanders explained. “We take applications from these local families and those who qualify get gifts for each of their kids, and they’re age-appropriate gifts, and then a certificate for a Christmas meal.”

She added, “we step in and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got you covered.’ Even if they can’t put any presents under the tree, we typically supply enough to provide an entire Christmas for them.”

A Working Family’s Christmas Emcee Brooke Olzendam noted, “if you come to the gala…every dollar is going to something that’s really important to the community, to families around Portland and outside of Portland.”