Hundreds of families at gift giveaway in Amelia County

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

AMELIA COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Hundreds of families in Amelia County are lining up outside the county Parks and Rec building, grabbing some gifts to make their holiday a little brighter.

"It's a true blessing. It's a true blessing," said John Ford, one of the parents getting gifts for his children. The emotion speaks volumes in the eyes of John Ford. He's just one of hundreds of parents trying to make this holiday season a special one.

"I was walking through there crying. I couldn't talk," said John.

The place where John worked went under with the economy. That's just an example of something Amelia County administrator Thomas Harris is hearing more of these days.

"The need has increased and we who are fortunate to be in this situation need to reach out and help," he said.

For the first time ever, the county donated hundreds of dollars to the cause.

"Taking care of those who are in most need is critically important and vital in the community," stated Harris.

About 500 families are getting help this year. Thousands of gifts were donated by local leaders and the community. That includes a record 130 bikes. John's taking one of them home, and he's expecting quite a reaction out of his two children.

Becky Myers was second in line today behind John. She has one daughter at home.

"She's been up since 3 a.m. this morning. I've been here since 4:30 in the morning," Becky said.

Now-- she and others--- are all going home with a big bag of goodies.

"Right now, it's emotional. You're about to have me crying! But it's just me. This is wonderful," added John.

Leaders have an even more ambitious goal for next year. They want to see 500 bikes here, to give away to families during the Christmas season of 2011.

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