Suffolk VDOT office supports children at Christmas

Published 7:15 pm Saturday, January 21, 2017

Families of children who attend The Children’s Center have benefited from the kindness of staff at the Virginia Department of Transportation since 2008, and this year was no different.

VDOT staff have provided Christmas gifts for 40 children since that time via their Angel Tree project. Children’s Center staff identify the neediest families from their caseloads and ask the family’s permission to seek support for their child for the holiday. VDOT staff select a name from their Angel Tree and provide gifts for the children. The gifts are not small, single gifts, but are often bags of gifts that would bring a smile even to Santa’s face.

The project has been coordinated since 2008 by Marlene Carter, who is a buyer specialist for VDOT. Carter collaborates with Theresa Long, Children’s Center family services manager to provide assistance to families during the holiday season.

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However, Carter insists that this project would not be successful without her “elves.”

“It takes a lot of effort from not only myself, but my elves that help me each and every year,” Carter said. “My other helpers are Pamela Copeland and Rhonda Tharrington.”

This year, Diana Mix has joined the “elves.” They help with wrapping gifts, shopping and delivering the gifts.

Children’s Center staff are always excited to see the VDOT staff come. Not only do they bring gifts for the children, but they bring joy and happiness with their smiles and expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to help others.

Children’s Center staff deliver the gifts to the family homes.

The Children’s Center provides Head Start and Early Head Start services to Western Tidewater.