Aleris employees make Christmas season bright for Richmond families

Workers make season bright for families

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - One local company came together to help five struggling families with Christmas gifts for their children.

Employees from Aleris Corporation met the families at NBC12.

No sad tears were shed on this day although Amanda Guill says her 10-year-old nephew and 13-year-old niece have reason to cry.

The kids lost their mom right before the holiday. Guill says, “They deserve so much. They are great kids and they deserve everything they can possibly get. I have my own kids. These are my niece and my nephew. I just don’t have the financial income to support all of them with a gift.”

Aleris Corporation employees did all they could to bring the family happiness, if only for a day. David Milks with Aleris used the Christmas lift from the families to shop for plenty of warm clothes, blankets and art supplies.

The big reveal that sparked a rush of emotions from the kids’ aunt was an X-Box. “Oh my God. Oh wow. Oh my God I’m going to cry Pops," said Guill.

Milks also presented additional gifts, including a gift card to Food Lion so the family could enjoy a nice holiday meal.

“They’re going to be just so happy,” said Guill.

Carol Allen and her 16-year-old son Dreon are having a tough time making ends meet but Carol remains hopeful despite how rough life gets.

“Yeah. He just turned 16. He’s in the 10th grade. He’s autistic. So, he’s kind of shy,” said Allen.

Clinging to his mother, shy Dreon said “Thank you” to everyone involved. He received clothes, shoes, toys and coloring books, which was just about everything on his wish list says.

Tyler Schmidt with Aleris had a message for Dreon’s mother: “When I wake up on Christmas morning, Dreon and you will be on my mind. Hopefully he will be smiling from ear to ear," said Schmidt.

Barry Aaesby, single father of 4-year-old Jayden, also reached out for help. Aaesby says he never had a real mother or father and now that he is a father, he wants to be a great one. He doted on his son saying, “I love him. He’s my best friend and if I couldn’t do anything for him it would have hurt me. It would have hurt me."

John Sexton with Aleris shopped for Jayden and purchased everything from a race track and cars to spider man and clothes.

Sexton says, “We really appreciate being able to help you and to learn about your story. Being able to maybe provide a little stress relief for you around the holidays is just a small thing that our company can do to help you out.”

Jayden shook Sexton’s hand and repeated the words of his father, “Thank you so much, sir. Thank you so much, sir.”

Only the parents of the children were able to see the gifts before Christmas.

Thanks again, Aleris Corportation.

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