7th Annual Hope Chest Giveaway Helps Hundreds of Low-Income Families

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Venable Elementary School Venable Elementary School
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Hundreds of low-income families in Charlottesville will rest easier knowing they have warm clothes and presents under the tree.

Pema Damang escaped a refugee camp less than a year ago.

Student volunteers from the Saint Anne’s Belfield School and Mama's Kitchen Group helped Damang and about a thousand others in need find essentials at the Hope Chest Giveaway Saturday at Venable Elementary School.

“We are giving away a lot of things but it's not about the things,” says Hope Chest director Debbie Lyle. “It’s about people helping each other.”

“I know it took three 18-foot trailers loaded as high as they could pile them and a 20 foot box truck and two pick-up trucks loaded as high as they could load them,” says Pastor Harold Bare.

Once shoppers made their way inside the clothes-packed gym, they had 25 minutes to load as much as they needed, for free.

For Damang, the items she collected will allow her family to celebrate their first Christmas and work toward their American dream

“I am thinking for my child’s future and I am coming for my child’s future,” Damang says.

This was the 7th annual Giveaway. Volunteers say it's grown every year.

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