RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Life isn't always easy around Christmas, especially for parents hit with an unexpected expense. It can shut down any possibility of a happy holiday.
Such is the case for a Richmond mother of four who missed the deadlines for Christmas help through traditional programs, so 12 On Your Side took action.
What's easy to forget in the holiday rush are families struggling to put food on the table and gifts under the Christmas tree for their kids. Some don't even have a tree. That's why we set out to help Tracy Hughes.
"I'd be very grateful," said Hughes. "It would mean a whole lot to me just for them to have something. As you can see, I don't even have a tree. It hurts me to my heart that they don't have anything. It hurts that they don't have much and I had it to get but, then everything just falls apart."
Sad but true, it's not uncommon for families to fall short on money at Christmas. It can be stressful and expensive too, and as much as we like to say presents are not the reason for the season, everyone, especially a child, wants something to "ooh" and "ah" about Christmas Day.
"To be able to open something, to have that Christmas experience so when they do go back to school, they'll be able to say with their friends, 'Oh look at what I got'," said Hughes.
Tracy's three sons and daughter are scholar students, rambunctious - and one, she says, she has to stay on top of more than the others. Past Christmases an elementary school teacher helped. Tracey had it together this year, she says, but then the transmission broke on her truck plus other surprises. With no savings, her plans just fell apart.
"It's like I got this black cloud that won't go away, because I'll go up on a pedestal and something just knocks me back down," said Hughes. "I don't have it for them and they're worth more than what I can give them and I don't like feeling like this. I managed for 15 years so far, but this year, it just got me stuck and I don't have anything else to do but ask you all for help."
So 12 On Your Side went to retail giant Walmart Forest Hill. Managers there have helped us help others in the past, and again this year they provided a gift card to help Hughes.
She's grateful and says, "Thank you all a lot. I really appreciate it. It will help me a lot. This is perfect to tell you the truth, because I didn't have anything and this is more than what I had. Thank you Walmart. I really appreciate it, and I'm getting ready to come down to you all right now."
There are other families who need your help at Christmas. So please consider donating to Home Again, a shelter that helps homeless families get back on their feet. They will gladly take your donations of new, unwrapped toys and blankets, sheets, coats, diapers, any household items.
You can drop them off between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Professional Moving and Storage, 2209 Station Rd, Richmond, Va. 804-291-3543.
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