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Chesapeake CMO Christmas giveaway a success

Program has been taking place since 1985

CHESAPEAKE — Around 500 families will have a better Christmas holiday this year, thanks to the Chesapeake Community Mission Outreach’s (CMO) annual Christmas giveaway, which took place Thursday at the Chesapeake Community Center.

The Chesapeake CMO was started in 1985 by Don and Alice Moore, and has been helping Lawrence County families throughout the year and at Christmas time for nearly 34 years. Donna Plybon has also been with the organization since the beginning.

“We have around 500 families coming through today, and there’s anywhere from one to eight people in each family,” Betty Gwinn, co-director of the CMO, said. “We give away food and toys, and today we probably have more than 50 volunteers helping out.”

Students from Chesapeake High School and middle school were among the volunteers at the Chesapeake Community Center on Thursday assisting with the event, and were helping pack carts with food to take out to cars, pick toys out for children in the families and wrap presents.

The Christmas giveaway was only available to people who are in the CMO’s system and are eligible to get food throughout the year, and the CMO began asking people if they were going to pick up from the Christmas giveaway back in September.

Food available at the giveaway included a turkey or ham, vegetables, bread, fruit, milk and more.

“We are so blessed to be able to do this for the people who need it,” Gwinn said. “We received toys from Toys for Tots, and there were also so many people throughout the community who donated toys and things for this. It’s a huge community effort, and all over the community, we’ve been blessed.”