Greene spreads joy of Christmas

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ashley Greene’s favorite memories of Christmas revolve around the opportunity to give back.

So it’s no surprise that Greene, who works at the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, would be a supporter of the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund, which raises money for toys for Suffolk children.

“I feel like it helps spread the magic of Christmas to those who may not be able to experience that,” she said. “I think everyone should get to feel that magic at some point. The Cheer Fund tries to spread that magic wider and further by existing.”

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Greene remembers the smells and sounds of Christmas as a child more than anything.

“I remember baking cookies with my great-aunt and decorating them,” she said. “There was flour everywhere, and it didn’t matter. We made a mess.”

Greene said the family would share the cookies after they made them, helping to spread the joy of Christmas.

“I just remember the experiences of Christmas, not the stuff,” she said.

Now that she is an adult and has four children of her own, Greene hasn’t stopped giving back.

One of the favorite memories she, her husband and their children have of Christmas is 2014, when her son, Jackson, had cancer.

“That was probably our very best Christmas as a whole family, the year Jackson was in treatment,” she said.

It might seem like an odd thing to say, but the Greene family made the most of that Christmas by giving back.

Jackson had been diagnosed in November and taken one chemotherapy treatment, but he was able to be at home on that Christmas Day.

But the Greene family realized many other cancer patients at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters were not able to be at home for Christmas.

Greene said the family called ahead and found out about the ages and genders of the children expected to be in the hospital that day. The children then shopped for gifts for all of the children on the cancer floor at CHKD.

“The kids all picked them out,” Greene said. The family delivered the gifts, as well as sweet treats for the workers, on Christmas Day.

“It was really awesome to go and spread Christmas that way,” Greene said.

So anytime the joy of Christmas can be spread to those less fortunate, Greene can be found supporting the cause.

“Christmas is such a season of spreading cheer, and I think that the Cheer Fund is one other way to help add a little magic in some people’s lives that don’t necessarily get that,” she said. “At the end of the day it feels a lot better to give someone something than to get it.”