Norfolk deputies hand out baskets of food to spread holiday cheer


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk deputies spent Thursday morning giving back to the community by spreading holiday cheer to those in need.

Deputies handed out 100 Christmas baskets of food to give to seniors and different churches and organizations.

Sheriff Joe Baron says deputies participate in the program twice a year: once at Thanksgiving and once at Christmas.

“It’s just our way of giving back to the community, our way of making a difference,” Baron said.

Baron says the sheriff’s office partners with Port Alliance/Chartway Federal Credit Union to be able to help those in need.

Robin Engelhart, who is the interim chief executive officer for Port Alliance, says they started giving back in 2009 and helping to give joy to people is what it’s all about.

“We go through life not realizing what’s around us and twice a year, we get to slow down, stop, acknowledge everything that  goes on around us and really have a true feeling that this is a community that comes together no matter what,” she said.

10 On Your Side tagged along with Master Deputy Ashley Houck and Sgt. Lauren Niedholdt to pass out the baskets.

They also credit being able to make citizens feel joy is what keeps them going.

“It puts a smile on people’s faces. It helps the ones in need and it just uplifts them,” Houck said.

Niedholdt said deputies volunteer to give back, not just during the holidays, but all year with other programs the sheriff’s office puts on.

But there’s something unique about doing it around Christmas.

“To know you’re making their holiday special, how can you not love your job when that’s what you have to do?”

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