HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- This Halloween, roughly 600 different homes across the country are all out with the holiday decor, in the hopes of helping children who may not be able to celebrate.
One of those homes is in Henrico County, off of Three Chopt Road.
The Dabney family's front yard, on the corner of Beverly Drive and Three Chopt, is jam-packed with hundreds of lights, dozens of Halloween movie characters, and more than 20 different animatronics that move and speak.
Katarina Dabney said it's a family affair for the season of frights that's been at least five years in the making.
"They kept surprising us with certain things, and we would kind of surprise each other with animatronics, until eventually, it became this entire yard full," Dabney said.
She said her family's love of decorating started with Christmas decorations. Now, the family has at least four sheds in their backyard that they keep filled to the brim with Halloween decorations to be put on display at the start of the month.
Across the yard, skeletons of all shapes and sizes weave in and out of different Halloween "scenes" the family created.
It's all part of Skeletons for St. Jude, a nationwide effort to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during the 2022 Halloween and Holiday seasons. So far this year, participants have raised over $148,000.
Dabney said so far, her home has raised about $700, with the goal of hitting $1,000 by the end of Halloween.
She said since the decorations were put up earlier this year, at almost all hours of the day, families will drive or stop by to check out the decorations or make a donation.
The best part of it all, the family said, is getting to meet their neighbors near and far, who look in wonder when they stop by.
"It's been very heartwarming," she said. "We hear so many stories about others who have had a hard time, and this really motivates them to just continue decorating. Or it just brings a moment for them to bond with their families. For us, it's not about us. It's about hearing their stories and why they would like to come back each year."
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