Christmas in July

Santa is coming back to Henrico Theatre in July! Enjoy movies, decorations, and all sorts of fun throughout the day.

$1 Movies and Concessions:
10 am & 1 pm: Jingle All the Way
7 pm: Scrooged

As part of our Christmas in July movie day, we’re proud to be partnering with Henrico Christmas Mother to Stock the Warehouse!
HCM is a non-profit organization that provides each program recipient with a shopping experience characterized by choice and dignity. They provide food, new clothing, books, toys, and other gift items to qualifying Henrico County families with children, seniors aged 65 and older, and disabled adults, during the holiday season.
 
We’ll be collecting the following items at the Christmas in July movies:
-Diapers
-Diaper wipes
-Full-size toothbrushes
-Full-size toothpaste
-Socks (all sizes)
-NEW Books
   *Adult puzzle books
   *Board books for children 0-2
   *Middle/high school level books about sports

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Christmas Mother Reflections

Eighty years ago, a local teacher went above and beyond for her students and community which started a tradition that is now known as the Henrico Christmas Mother. In October, the County Manager, John Vithoulkas, kicked off our annual fundraising campaign by asking the coordinators to make this the best year yet. County employees came together and found creative ways to collect donations and raise funds for those in need.

This year’s events included:

James River Juvenile Detention Center Fish/Chicken Fry & Car Wash

Permit Center Bake Sale

Planning Office Bake Sale

Finance Department Cookie Celebration

Human Resources Photo Booth

Henrico Sheriff’s Office “Pie the Chief”

Finance Revenue Division Taco Tuesday

Circuit Court Clerk’s Office Sweets Sale & Silent Auction

Between the events and department collection drives, County Employees far exceeded  last years’ virtual campaign contributions in almost every category.

 

2021

2022

Blankets

53

120

New Books

221

699

Clothing

308

1,013

Bikes

34

24

Toys

132

807

Miscellaneous items

1,100

1,924

Monetary

$14,977

$12,205

 

 

Maria Bagley had the honor of being this year’s Christmas Mother and was excited to be able to attend many of the events hosted by the County. On one occasion she met a woman who had previously been helped by the Christmas Mother Program. Shari Bennett Speer, an employee in the Organizational Learning and Talent Development Division of Human Resources recalled that event:

[We held a photo booth event and it was my job to call people over. I saw someone in a Santa hat and said “You need to have your photo taken with us – it’s to raise money for the Christmas Mother and you look so festive!”

She said, “I AM the Christmas Mother, and I’ll be happy to.”

Later, a woman walked past and politely declined my invitation to join us, saying she never gets pictures of herself — her family doesn’t even have any.

But she stood there and didn’t move, just looking at our prop table with a small smile on her face.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “But you know what? I’d like to donate.”

And then she told us that a couple of years back she was between jobs and struggling, and the Christmas Mother helped her when she needed it most. “I’d like to donate and help make a difference for someone else in need.”

A hush fell over us. THIS was why we were doing this. I told her “this is the actual Christmas Mother herself!” and they joyfully hugged.

20 minutes later she came back. “You know what? I WILL get a photo taken after all. This will be a gift for MY mother” – and as she posed in reindeer ears holding a sign saying “naughty or nice?” our smiles couldn’t have been bigger.

 

We couldn’t have been so successful this year without the generosity and hard work of Program coordinators and County Employees. In their presentation to the Board of Supervisors, The County Government Christmas Mother Chairs Tanya Brackett and Rebecca Slough also gave special mention to Jamie Massey and his team members: Renae Douglas, Marjorie Sykes, Jerome Nicholson, Nour Ramadan, Neal Jackson, and Medat William for their assistance in making sure all our donations were received in time at the Christmas Mother warehouse for distributions.

Many employees also volunteered at the warehouse as families shopped for gifts and received food donations. An average of 15 families were helped every 15 minutes during the week the distribution center had its doors open. After every family was served the the distribution center was closed, all the leftover food items were then donated back to Henrico County Public Schools for area students.

Together we showed compassion and kindness to our community, embodied the characteristics of the capability model and the Henrico Way, and made it the best year yet for the Henrico Christmas Mother.

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