ROANOKE, Va. – The Community Christmas Store in Roanoke is a non-profit that gives Christmas to more than 400 Roanoke Valley families in need. That’s close to 1,000 individuals from infants to seniors.
Families had to register months ago and the store is only open Friday and Saturday. In order to make that possible, volunteers are hard at work.
For the past 25 years, Felica Huff has spent her holiday season volunteering at the Community Christmas Store. She and her husband are on the non-profit’s board of directors.
“It’s part of my Christmas, it’s now become part of my life," Huff said. “The best thing is helping these folks out and they are so appreciative; just very near and dear to our heart.”
Huff has become so passionate that she shares the experience with everyone she meets, including coworkers like Sarah Flood who lives overseas.
“I work for Allstate Northern Ireland. Felica and I have been on the same team for 10 years, so we met in person 4 years ago and she spoke so passionately about the Christmas Community Store," Flood said.
Little did both women know, that day would change their lives.
“After the first of the year, she (Sarah) said ‘I think I want to get involved’ and the very next year and for three years continually, this is her third year,” said Huff.
Flood takes two weeks of vacation just to lend a helping hand.
“I’ve brought that home as well but again I feel like I get so much out of coming here.”
She hopes her gift of giving will inspire some.
“We just have to reach out and do everything we can to support each other. It doesn’t matter what country you come from, it’s about coming together to give back,” said Flood.
While motivating others to keep going.
“It’s a very special thing for me. She means a lot to me my family, my work family, Allstate and to this organization," said Huff.
Flood even nominated Huff for an Allstate Good Hands Award which Huff later won. The award includes a $2,500 grant which Huff plans to give to the Community Christmas Store.
The store is open Friday and Saturday and is still looking for socks and underwear donations. To donate those items, drop them off at the store 4721 Starkey Road, Roanoke, VA 24019.
The Community Christmas Store says they wouldn’t be able to support the community in need without volunteers and donations from the community including Allstate Insurance, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, Pratt Industries, Delta Dental of Roanoke, AEP and Chick-A-Filet Salem.
For more information on the store, click here.