Gifts and Christmas cheer get sorted, ready to go to needy families in Hampton Roads

Posted at 7:36 AM, Dec 19, 2019

NORFOLK, Va. - The Salvation Army and its volunteers sorted through loads of toys, food and other items to share with families in need for its annual "Christmas Depot."

The annual event is made possible through donations and sponsorships from local community members, organizations and businesses.

Major James Allison of the Salvation told News 3 roughly 125 to 150 volunteers are expected to help with this year's effort, with members of the U.S. Marine Corps also expected to assist. One volunteer, Janice Banks, said she has helped out for 15 years.

"Everything is done in the local area and it makes you feel good just giving back to our community," Banks said.

Allison added the "Christmas Depot" has been operating for over 100 years and that this year's event is his fourth.

"To think of a child not having something on Christmas morning and not having the opportunity to share and open presents like other children is heart-breaking," Allison said. "I've never had that experience myself but it's something I can't get my brain around to think about what it would feel like on Christmas morning.

From working in other areas, he added he believes Hampton Roads is one of the "most generous" communities he's worked in.

Families, with children up to age 14, needed to go through an application process in order to receive gifts and items from its warehouse. Allison said a "shopper" joins them as the family pick out the items they would like.

The distribution happens all week long until Friday and the depot doors open at 9:00 a.m. The depot is located at 205 East Little Creek Road in Norfolk.