December 21, 2013
Nearly 1,000 people came out to Venable Elementary School in Charlottesville on Saturday to pick out clothes, toys and other items donated to the Hope Chest.
Families in need loaded bags of items all to help make their Christmas a little brighter.
“Clothes, some toys, house needs, electronics, a lot of good stuff,” said Dyron McFarlane as he listed off some of the items he was able to get for his family this year. “I had something, but it wasn't this much, it wouldn't have been a good Christmas.”
The Hope Chest was created in 2005 through the Hope Foundation. The goal is to help out lower income families in the Charlottesville community.
“We've been averaging 1,000 to 1,200 people per year for now seven years as we gather together different people in the community, different organizations, for toys and for clothes and for household items,” says Dr. Harold Bare, president of the Hope Foundation.
This year, organizers asked for more sheets and pillow cases, after they ran out of those last year, but it's all to help people who are struggling financially throughout the year and the holiday season.
“Our community is charitable and we love to be a part of that and we have a lot more people in need in Charlottesville than people even imagine,” says Bare.
But the event wouldn't be possible without donations and volunteers.
“I really enjoy helping out and volunteering here,” says Audrey Schreck. “It's a great feeling, it's a lovely process they put on here.”
Schreck came out to volunteer with the St. Anne’s-Bellfield Basketball team.
The Hope Chest is open to anyone in the community, but it focuses on helping lower income and refugee families in the community, especially during the holiday season.