CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Christmas is not until Monday. But for the Miller family, Santa was on the other side of their door a few days early.

"On behalf of CMPD, the Explorers Program and the Metro Division, Merry Christmas to you and your family,” said Montray Gilchrist, school resource officer.

Glynneshia Miller was one of hundreds chosen to receive gifts from the 43rd annual CMPD Explorers Christmas Project. Miller has a girl and two boys and said this has been a tough year for her family.

“I just received my degree in September so trying to get back in the work field has been a struggle,” said Miller.

But when her kids wake up on Christmas Day, Miller said, "Their faces are going to be smiling because there's actually something there as supposed to the nothing that's there now."

Tanya Chambers agrees. She is a mom of five who also received gifts from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Thursday.

“It's going to be a blessing to them because things that I couldn't get they are able to have,” said Chambers.

The Explorers Christmas Project started in 1974. As of 2017, the numbers have spiked, with CMPD delivering gifts to 500 families and 1,500 kids.

“It gives people a whole new view of us, and most importantly, I see the officer light up. I think we have just as much fun giving than they do receiving,” said Chief Kerr Putney.

Montray Gilchrist was one of hundreds who volunteered their time Thursday. He said it's an exciting moment to fulfill someone's Christmas wishes.

"Because I know how I was as a kid just being able to wake up on Christmas and receive gifts made the world to me so hopefully that's what we're doing here with the Explorers Program," said Gilchrist.

If you would like to give back, you can drop off donations at the Salvation Army in Charlotte up until Christmas Day.