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Kids who lost parents and struggling families across Hampton Roads get help this holiday season

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Posted at 9:07 PM, Dec 22, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The holidays can be a strain, both emotionally and financially, for families across Hampton Roads.

This year has been tough for mother of nine Lakeshia Arnold.

She said they have scaled back Christmas this year.

She said her kids between the ages of 7 and 19 understand that having electricity, water turned on and food on the table is more important than Christmas gifts.

She said several of her kids have disabilities, and they are receiving help from the non-profit Giving with a Golden Hand.

Founder Sheri Johnson was working to unload donations, wrap presents and prepare for an event happening Thursday evening.

“I love to serve. I love to get back, and I do believe when you give unexpectedly, great things happen, and I just love to see people smile,” said Johnson.

Johnson said during the year, they help with food, clothing and resources to find shelter.

She said this year, they have 37 kids to whom they’re giving Christmas gifts, many of whom have lost parents. They're especially focused on helping the kids who lost parents to gun violence.

She said it is tough for the parents and the kids.

They started collecting presents right after Thanksgiving.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Johnson. “There’s so much more that we as a community need to do for our community.”

She said a lot of people are ashamed to get help.

Click here for more information about Giving with a Golden Hand.

Related: Judeo-Christian Outreach Center gives out Christmas Food Baskets to those in need