Hundreds of moms and dads gathered inside a loading bay at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne this morning to pick up Christmas gifts for their children.
The Loudoun County Corps of the Salvation Army officially opened the doors to families as part of its annual Angel Tree Toys Distribution Program, which will provide gifts for 1,500 children this year.
Volunteer Sharon Thomas said she and other volunteers have been at the conference center every day of the week for a month bagging the gifts to hand out to families. Many volunteers have been working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day this week to make sure everything was ready for this morning. “This is crunch time,” Thomas said.
Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk was also present this morning to cut the ribbon and celebrate the start of the gift distributions.
“It offers something that’s very important,” she said. “Everybody’s so excited.”
Earlier in the year, gift donors picked tags off Angel Trees that were set up in shopping centers around the county. Donors were then able to purchase gifts for the children based on the age and gender of the child they selected.
During the next few days, 708 pre-registered families will make their way to Lansdowne to pick up presents for their children.
“Let no lack be there for any kid,” said Pradeep Ramaji, captain of the county’s corps. “God bless this community.”