RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For many people, this is the time of the year to spread holiday joy to those less fortunate. That includes many local and state officials, who spent much of Thursday delivering hundreds of toys to patients at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
“This is what it’s all about,” Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said as he bagged up gifts to deliver inside the hospital. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but the most important time of the year, especially for our young people. You know, there are a lot of disadvantaged kids and families in the communities and we just want to spread joy.
“I think when you see an officer walking up with a gift and presenting it to a child it means the world to them.”
The Attorney General’s office, which has organized the drive since 1989, collects the toys each year. Attorney General Mark Herring said he and his workers, too, get something out of collecting and donating the gifts.
“Well, it means a lot to us to help others,” Herring said. “I remember driving in the squad cars to deliver presents for kids, and to see their faces just light up with joy and smiles.”
The Attorney General’s Office also collected donated food for senior citizens through the Meals-on-Wheels program. Not to be left out, the AG’s office also collected toys and food for the seniors’ pets.
“There are people who are being fed through Meals-on-Wheels and we found out that sometimes they share their meals with their pets, the elderly people do because they don’t have money for their pets,” Esther Anderson with the AG’s office explained. “So, we sent 650 pounds of dog and cat food to FeedMore yesterday, along with toys for the dogs and the cats.”
Anderson said employees with the AG’s office start organizing the gifts in June and begin collecting in October. Abd their planning paid off because they collected more than doubled the amount of toys children asked for this year.