By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @DinwiddieMonitr
Posted: November 28, 2018 | 1:45 p.m.
Gerald, Nita Massengill named Foundation’s Christmas parents
DINWIDDIE – The glorious Christmas season is once again upon us! This joyous season is usually consumed by frenetic hustle and bustle. There is decorating, get-togethers, family functions, cooking, shopping, and all the other wonderful things that make this time of year so amazing. Please make time during all the celebrations and goings-on in your holidays, to remember the Dinwiddie Christmas Sharing Foundation and the incredible impact of their hard work for those in need in our county.
The Christmas Sharing Foundation is already hard at work collecting, assembling, and sorting donations from all over the county. The foundation set up coat collection boxes at the beginning of November in three different Touchstone Banks in Dinwiddie. The first coat collection box is in McKenney, on Boydton Plank Road. The second is on Airport Street. The third is located in the Pamplin Administration Building. All three of the coat collection boxes will be in place until December 5. Residents are encouraged to donate gently-used or new coats for men, women, or children; gloves and mittens; and scarves.
The Foundation has announced Dinwiddie County’s Christmas Parents for 2018, Gerald and Nita Massengill of Sutherland. Gerald is a retired colonel of the Virginia State Police. Gerald and Nita are the parents of Alan Massengill, also of Dinwiddie, who is a Division Director and Instructor of electricity at John Tyler Community College; and Kevin Massengill, Dinwiddie County Administrator.
“When I retired from the Virginia State Police in 2003, Nita and I decided that we wanted to stay retired, and enjoy our family and leisure activities,” said Gerald. “I was called back into service by two different sitting Governors to conduct and oversee two different investigations. Consequently, Nita and I never got involved in a lot of the organizations and activities in the Dinwiddie community, because we had decided that when I finally truly retired, I was going to stay retired! When we were approached by the Christmas Sharing Foundation this year and asked to serve as this year’s Christmas Parents, Gary and Yvonne Burnett, who are our good friends and neighbors here in Waterford Landing, were very involved in the Christmas Sharing Foundation. So Nita and I already knew quite a bit about the Foundation, and its efforts to provide wonderful and special Christmas memories for families and children in need. Providing wonderful Christmas memories will stay with these children for the rest of their lives.”
2017 Dinwiddie Christmas Sharing Foundation Parents Rev. and Mrs. Herbert Anderson and 2018 Christmas Parents Col. and Mrs. Gerald Massengill pose for a photo at last week’s Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors meeting. (Dinwiddie County)
“Dinwiddie’s Christmas Sharing Foundation is made up of many wonderful volunteers,” said Cathy Young, Chairperson. “These volunteers generously give of their time and themselves to our county. Without our many volunteers, none of this would be possible.”
The Christmas Sharing foundation is still in need of new toys and books for all ages. There are drop-off box locations at Giuseppe’s, El Caporal, Touchstone Bank locations, the Dinwiddie Public School Board Office, the Bank of Southside Virginia, and Tractor Supply Company.
“When the Foundation asked Nita and I to serve as this year’s Christmas Parents, they had in fact already voted on it beforehand,” Gerald Massengill chuckled. “Because of our prior knowledge of their wonderful mission, we decided to accept. For the last few weeks, we have been quite busy trying to get the word out to the County. That is our job now as Christmas Parents. We talk to different organizations, individuals, groups, the media, and businesses about helping with this important program. We are a volunteer organization, 501C3, tax-exempt. We contact businesses, small and large, that are inclined to help us with this program. Both the county residents and businesses of Dinwiddie have been very responsive over the years when they hear about the good things our Foundation is doing. This past Tuesday, Nita and I spoke to a group of a hundred seniors at Smyrna Baptist Church. Residents are so helpful when they get the word about what the Foundation is doing. The thing that grabbed Nita and I, tugged at our hearts, and made us want to participate and help out the Foundation, is knowing that the majority of our society has plenty, but there is a certain segment of our society that does not have the same resources or opportunities, and they can sometimes do without basic needs. This foundation, in getting those people coats, toys, maybe a nice bicycle, and food for a wonderful Christmas meal, truly makes a difference in lives. Christmas memories are ones that you look back on for a lifetime. It comes back to that phrase that kind of says it all, helping to put twinkles in eyes. Nita and I are proud and honored to be a part of this.”
“Many of our volunteers are present and former educators,” Cathy Young remarked. “In many ways, all of them are still educators because they continually teach people how to care for others.”
The Foundation would like to thank all of the generous residents and businesses in Dinwiddie and Central Virginia helping them in what has become a year-round effort.
Southside Elementary School is going to be collecting outerwear, mittens, and other warm items to donate to the foundation. The school will begin a mitten tree after the Thanksgiving break.
The owner of Chesdin Self Storage has provided rooms, free-of-charge, for the Foundation’s collected treasures! Wal-Mart has contributed immeasurably. Johnson’s Cleaners of Colonial Heights has offered to clean the coats contributed at the Touchstone Bank locations. Touchstone Banks has drop-off boxes for donations. These individuals, businesses, and so many others make an incredible difference.
For additional information on the Christmas Sharing Foundation, to make a monetary or tangible contribution, or for information on becoming a volunteer, please contact Kathy Young by telephone at (804) 691-2823.
Your help might just make an amazing and immeasurable difference in someone’s life. Merry Christmas Dinwiddie!