VDOT, clinic adopt family for Christmas

Published 11:29 pm Friday, December 21, 2012

The Western Tidewater Free Clinic and the Virginia Department of Transportation district office in Suffolk adopted a family for Christmas. Pictured, from left, are Texie Marks and Vicki Butler of the clinic and VDOT employees Ruby Evans, Ciara Everett, Tabatha Mamorno, Sonda Parham, Larry Fleming, Sam Davis, Christina Martin and Sandi Austin. VDOT employees who participated but are not pictured are Tammy Jones, Cathy Richards and Susan Perez.

The table in a small conference room at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s district office in Suffolk was packed with food, toys and other gifts for a Suffolk family in need on Thursday morning.

Perched beside the table, to go with the helmet on the table, was a pink-and-purple bicycle.

The recipient family, a grandfather raising his three grandchildren, was adopted by VDOT and the Western Tidewater Free Clinic. VDOT purchased a holiday meal and other food items, a couple small gifts and a bicycle for the youngest child — somebody else already purchased bicycles for the other children.

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Meanwhile, volunteers and staff at the clinic chose needs from an angel tree set up at the clinic and shopped for toys and all manner of apparel — clothes, coats, socks and other needs — for the children.

“They were gone before I knew it,” Vicki Butler, volunteer coordinator at the clinic, said of the angels on the tree. “They were gone in a day.”

The Human Resources department at VDOT split up the purchases they were responsible for and went shopping. In addition to a ham and turkey for Christmas dinner, the family also got supplies for Christmas breakfast, as well as snacks and other essentials.

“We enjoyed doing this,” said Ruby Evans, administrative office specialist at VDOT. “It was not a task of labor; it was a task of love.”

The VDOT personnel also threw in a gift card to help with other needs.

“This is the power of giving,” said Butler. “These are all things that we take for granted. I am so happy for that family.”