Salvation Army helps thousands of families celebrate Christmas; needs additional volunteers

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Salvation Army in Hampton Roads has helped make Christmas a little brighter for thousands of local kids.

On Friday, the organization wrapped up its Christmas Depot where registered families came to pick up toys that were donated through their Angel Tree program.

Maj. Donald Dohmann with the Salvation Army says this year they helped over 7,500 people.

“It was great. We actually kicked off the campaign back on November 4. That was our kick-off and that was at Lynnhaven Mall. Since then, we’ve been collecting registration of children in need. We’ve taken those Angels and got them adopted out in the community,” he said.

Those toys were then collected at the former Sears at Military Circle Mall, where Dohmann says hundreds of volunteers have worked to make the Christmas Depot possible.

“Our volunteers are what makes it happen at the Christmas Depot,” he said.

Unlike last year, Dohmann says COVID-19 did not impact that much with getting kids adopted for toys or volunteers.

“It has not been a struggle to get volunteers here at the Christmas Depot. It has been a struggle to get volunteers to the Red Kettle Campaign because you’re in the elements and have to stand on your feet for a couple of hours at a time,” he said.

Dohmann says many who do volunteer come back each year to help.

While it’s too late to volunteer for the depot, he is hopeful people will volunteer for the Red Kettles, which will be out for another week.

“Giving back is something I believe is scriptual. I know it’s scriptural-giving back. Whether it’s your time, treasure, or talents, it’s important,” he said. “We remind ourselves there are others in need and when we can, it’s important to do so.”

Dohmann says the money they raise through the campaign is spread across their many programs including their women’s shelters.

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