JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie and News4Jax partnered together to take one Jacksonville family in need on a shopping spree to buy all the fixings for Christmas dinner.
The members of the Sloan Family received the early Christmas present Friday and went to pick out all of the ingredients for their holiday meal at the Winn-Dixie grocery store in Baymeadows.
"We like turkey and ham," said Shameka Sloan.
And this year, that's exactly what the Shameka and the rest of the Sloan family will get to eat at their holiday feast.
Shameka works as a sign-language interpreter at her alma mater, Ed White High School. She was inspired by her husband, Steven, who was born deaf.
The two were high school sweethearts and now raise four children -- two teenagers and a set of 2-year-old twins whom they foster.
"My family, they motivate me. They encourage me. They understand my language. They all sign," Steven said.
The Sloan family was extremely thankful for the special gift.
"On behalf on Winn-Dixie, we're proud to provide this meal for you and your family and we wish you a very merry Christmas," said North Florida Winn-Dixie Vice President Shawn Sloan, no relation to Shameka and Steven.
During the shopping spree, the family filled up carts with turkey, milk, eggs and, of course, cookies for Santa Claus.
"We got a big family, we gotta get the big bacon," Shameka explained.
The Sloan family plan even plans to try a new recipe this year, in addition to Shameka's signature Christmas dish of crab salad.
But it wasn't just the shopping carts that were full. Their hearts were full of gratitude.
"I didn't expect this to happen and my heart is overwhelmed with excitement and joy. And just having my family together just takes my breath away," Shameka said.
And they're just as grateful for time they'll spend sitting down and enjoying the holiday meal -- together.
"That's what's important to me, family and spending time together, the kids, the twins," Shameka said.
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