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The gift of giving

Alma Booth volunteers with the Community Mission Outreach on Friday at the Chesapeake Community Center filling stockings and bags to be given to local children.

Alma Booth volunteers with the Community Mission Outreach on Friday at the Chesapeake Community Center filling stockings and bags to be given to local children.

CMO prepares for annual giveaway to the needy

Volunteers were working hard Friday to make Christmas brighter for those less fortunate.

Community Mission Outreach will host a giveaway to the needy on Monday and Tuesday, and volunteers were working this week in the gymnasium at the Chesapeake Community Center to pack items for families, including stockings and gift bags for children.

Bags and stockings were being packed with small toys, candy and treats such as Pop-Tarts and Rice Krispies squares.

The CMO, a client choice food pantry, is based at the community center.

Donna Plybon, treasurer for CMO, said the organization has been doing this every year, for the past 30 years.

She said the items were donated from local businesses, churches, schools and individuals.

In addition to CMO members, there were many on hand to help with the event.

“We have a lot of good volunteers from the community and churches,” Plybon said.

Don Moore, chairman of trustees for CMO, has been involved in the project, along with his wife Alice, since its inception. Many volunteers present said they were instrumental to its success.

Moore said that anyone in need can pick up the items at the community center. However, due to USDA food items included, they must meet income guidelines.

He said that donations came from a variety of sources, with many toys through Toys for Tots, while a large donation of canned food came from local schools.

Father Charles Moran, of St. Ann Church in Chesapeake, has been working with the project for 13 years.

“Jesus said the poor will always be with you and, therefore, the poor are gifts to us and enable us, in caring for them, to be like Jesus,” he said. “Many times we forget the poor really are a gift.”