The mission of the Henrico Christmas Mother is to provide assistance in the form of food, new clothing, books, and toys to qualifying Henrico families, disabled adults, and seniors during the holiday season. The campaign run by our Henrico County departments run collect and raise money for this mission is so much more! We were able to catch up with chair members Rebecca Slough and Tanya Harding to really reflect on this year’s campaign:
- How is the Christmas Mother campaign different this year from campaigns in the past?
“We decided to do something a little different this year, similar to schools, is to invite our Henrico Christmas Mother or a previous Christmas Mother to come to our various events being sponsored by departments so they can not only enjoy the events, but to thank all that come by to support it. We also have heard that a couple of departments have done other events throughout the year to help the campaign and not just during the campaign timeframe.” – Rebecca Slough
- What has the response been like to events so far?
“The response has been overwhelming. We have seen all of our favorite events return for another year and a lot of our departments who have not hosted events before hosting events for the first time; like this year we had our first ever ‘Pie a Boss’ and ‘Breakfast with the County Manager.’” – Tanya Harding
- How do you feel this campaign will inspire next year’s volunteers?
“Each year we see many returning department coordinators, which I feel those folks enjoy and are inspired to helping such a great and worthy program. The Henrico Christmas Mother campaign is always about neighbors helping neighbors and I think our coordinators get so excited and want to create great events or collection of toys, clothes, books and more to help families have a wonderful holiday season. It is always so exciting for us to see new coordinators in departments as that sparks new ideas and creativity in the campaign.” – Rebecca Slough
- What are some of your favorite events you have seen put on?
“I have to say I love all of the events. Every year I look forward to seeing what events or new ideas our coordinators will come up with. The ‘Pie a Boss’ was very entertaining to watch but all the events mean so much because I know every coordinator and each department took the time to plan and participate. To me that makes them all my favorite.” – Tanya Harding
“I know this might sound a little cheesy, but I greatly appreciate all the events that folks have created to raise money for the Henrico Christmas Mother… but what is great is seeing departments come together to make their events successful by donating their time to make chili, barbecue, baked potatoes with all the fixings, cookies, cakes, hot dogs and more then to sell to others to all go to a good cause.” – Rebecca Slough
- What is the response like from the families who receive the benefits of this campaign?
“I wish all our coordinators could be in the warehouse on the shopping days to see the smiles on the faces of the families who receive the toys, blankets, gloves, hats, bikes or the funds they have raised it is a feeling I can’t explain. To walk with a mother as she carefully picks out a book, and toys for her children to open on Christmas morning is so rewarding and to know you made that happen it. It is pure joy…” – Tanya Harding