HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The holidays are a time to reflect on this year.
In 2020, many faced adversity, challenges and hardships, including one Hampton Roads family.
The family, who wanted to stay anonymous, told News 3 the holidays are typically a special time of year.
“The holidays just mean getting together with your family and being together,” they said.
This year, however, has been tough for them.
“It's been a little rough not thinking that I can do anything to help myself,” the mother said.
She said they've had several problems with their home, something that caught Devon Thompson's attention.
“We were made aware there were holes in the roof, and the heat didn't work,” Thompson told News 3.
“It's just real stressful on us,” the woman said. “It takes a toll on your anxiety.”
Each holiday season, Thompson's cause is to make one family's spirits bright.
When I grew up, and I woke up on Christmas morning, there was piles [of presents],” he said. “It just blows my mind that there might be somebody who actually wakes up and doesn't have anything.”
This year, he turned to social media to help the family.
“I just started reaching out on Facebook, and it was no effort really,” Thompson said. “People stepped up easily and said, ‘I'll handle the HVAC.’ I had the roof fixed the next day, and that was the owner of Ballyhoos over on Shore Drive. He sent his guy over, fixed the roof right away. A few days later, we got the HVAC fixed.”
“We haven't had central heat in a couple of years. There's nothing like central heat, especially if it gets really cold,” the woman added. “As far as presents go, the best present is the heat.”
The family also got a different kind of sleigh ride, hopping in a limo to go shopping and out to dinner thanks to Thompson and others in the community.
It’s a Christmas, the family said, they’ll remember for years to come.
“It's wonderful, and I'm overjoyed,” the woman said. “I think it'll make a huge difference to me, in my heart anyways, it does.”
Meanwhile, Thompson believes this is an example of how the community can ring in the season of giving, especially for future generations.
“Our children are watching us,” Thompson said. “Hopefully we've planted a few seeds that'll grow later.”
Thompson said many commercial donors helped with fixing the family’s home, including B.A. Mechanical, Live Show East, OVM Financial and Basnight Land and Lawn.
He added you can still help the family this holiday season, and other families for future holiday seasons, by contacting him on Facebook.