A group of students at St. Anne's-Belfield School is collecting donations for an annual Christmas giveaway in Charlottesville. But the amount of donated clothes, toys, and household items is falling short with only a week to go.
The Hope Chest Giveaway averages 1,000 people each year. Many wait in line in the morning cold for the doors to open. Right now though, they won't find much filling the tables unless the community steps up donations.
Members of the Mama's Kitchen Club at STAB's middle school are sorting through donations from their classmates and teachers. They also contributed cash, socks, and pajamas to avoid wearing their usual school uniforms for "Dress Down Day" Wednesday. The club's students work with the Hope Community Center in Charlottesville to put together the Christmastime giveaway.
"The students get the idea that even though someone may not be as dressed as well, doesn't drive as fancy of a car, that underneath of course we're all the same and we should help each other," said Debbie Lyle, director of STAB's orchestra.
"If you think about how good you feel when you're giving those things, what if you didn't have any of those and you were getting them? You'd be so happy," said sixth-grade student Kate Pausic.
Inside the center's donation drop-off room, tables are empty and bags are barely filled. STAB says donations from the community have dropped to half this year.
The Hope Chest Giveaway is next Saturday, December 21. Donations are due the Thursday before. You can drop off gently used clothing, toys, and household items at the Hope Community Center on 11th Street NW.
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