Warriors spread holiday cheer

Published 9:49 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Nansemond River High School track and field team helped a family in need for the holidays this year.

The annual event has become a tradition for the track and field team. This year, they assisted the Graves family, whose house was affected by a fire in November.

Coach Justin Byron decided this year his team will help the family out, as they do a different family every year. The athletes and athletes’ parents all worked hard to make the family’s Christmas.

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“For my kids, I want them to know even though what you are doing on the track is great, we also want you to know what you do in the community is big as well,” Byron said. “We saw a family in need, and we wanted to do everything we could to help them.”

A grease fire back in late November changed the Graves’ family’s lives for the time being. Keisha, the mother of the family, and her boyfriend have two kids, one of whom attends Creekside Elementary School. They were all living in the house with her mother and have recently been trying to get things back to normal while their home is getting work done to it. In the fire, many things were lost from clothes to valuable items.

Keisha remembers calling Creekside the day after the fire and letting them know why her son could not attend school. The school quickly contacted her back to see if there was anything they could do for them. From there, Nansemond River also got in on helping the family get back on their feet.

“I want to thank Creekside and Nansemond River,” Graves said. “They immediately wanted to help once they knew about our situation. “We are just so thankful that they wanted to do this for us.”

The Warriors delivered Christmas gifts to the family on Saturday. They had gifts ranging from clothes, toys, diapers and accessories for the family. Graves and her mother broke down into tears once they saw the many different gifts the Warriors had presented to them.

“We are so appreciative and overwhelmed by the stuff that they did,” Graves said. “We thought it was going to be few things. But the whole track team showed up with three and four things in their hands for us. It certainly put a smile on our face and just warmed our hearts. We did not expect any of this.”

The Graves family is hoping that one day they can find a way to show their gratitude for what Creekside and the Nansemond River track and field team have done for them.

The Warriors have been helping families at Christmas time the last few years under Byron and have also gotten the support of others around the school as well.