Giving back and spreading hope: Hudson helping those with autism - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Giving back and spreading hope: Hudson helping those with autism

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FLORENCE - The holidays give families plenty of reasons to smile. On Friday in Florence, a special group of kids had another reason to.

"That's a huge Christmas present for me, to come out here and enjoy the kids, and see a smile on their face," explained Major League Baseball vet and Darlington native Orlando Hudson. His C.A.T.C.H foundation (Curing Autism Through Change and Hope) hosted the fifth annual Holiday Homerun Christmas Dinner over the weekend for autistic children of the Pee Dee. "It's nice to see them get great gift bags and everything. To have stuff to open up, and new stuff to wear for Christmas. It's a blessing."

Hudson has also made it a family affair. His wife, parents, aunts and uncles all helped out in cooking the food to purchasing gifts for more than 50 families over the weekend, as Orlando dressed up as Santa Claus to dish out the gifts.

"It makes me feel good because when I was a little boy, I used to be in that position, I didn't have much," explained Orlando's father Marcus. "And now that I can help kids like that, it makes me feel good, it makes the whole family feel good."

During the holiday time, both he and his Santa alter-ego hope to make Christmastime a little bit brighter for these kids. Click above to hear from Orlando Hudson and his family about Friday's dinner.

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