VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – More than 400 children in Hampton Roads this year don’t have to worry if Santa will leave any presents under their tree.
It’s all thanks to Operation Wish List spearheaded by the MyHelpMyHope Foundation.
There are hundreds of children who never get that chance because of circumstances out of their control.
The foundation hopes to grant their wish and help get their mind off other things this holiday season.
Bag after bag, volunteers filled hundreds of children’s Christmas wishes Monday.
“I am happy. I am very excited and I’m very pleased that she would do this for me,” one mother, Margarita Wilson, said.
Wilson thought she was at the Holiday Inn in Virginia Beach Monday to volunteer, but instead walked away with four bags of gifts for her four children.
“I’ve already been through my struggles, so I figured she had me here to tell my story, to tell how I got up out of, you know, what I was going through. I didn’t expect this at all,” Wilson said.
CEO of the MyHelpMyHope Foundation Cathy Harris says they pick the families who need them the most.
“We get our referrals from social services, community services board, foster care,” Harris said.
Many of those families are recovering from traumatic events or hard times and just need a little help.
“I know what it is like to not have for Christmas and when you’re experiencing some type of trauma, the children don’t know. They don’t understand. The parents know, but the children don’t know. They just know they want Santa Claus and they want their gifts,” Harris said.
Margarita says she is still trying wrap her head around this surprise.
“Overjoyed — I’m a little overwhelmed. I try not to shake a little bit, ’cause like I said, this is something that I was not expecting,” Wilson said.
But this gift will make a big difference in her household this year
“So I thought we were just gonna, you know, deal with what we already have, and this makes them feel like they’re going to have even more,” added Wilson.