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Police visit Petersburg motel to bring Christmas cheer to children

Posted at 5:02 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-25 09:40:01-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg Police continued their Christmas tradition of delivering presents to those in need of a brighter Christmas.

Officers made a stop at the Flagship Inn where owner Avi Patel said the acts of kindness make the children who live there very happy.

"It's very tough on police officers to see some of the conditions that people have to live in," Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian said.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s effort may be more important than ever.

"I appreciate it," one mother of three said. "The pandemic right now is hard and by us being out of work and we don't have anything to help our kids."

One man, not on the officers' list, asked for any toy they could spare.

“I didn't know how I was going to get my daughter anything for Christmas," he said as he walked away with a scooter for his small child.

For Santa's Helper's in blue, 2020 has also been a tough year. But seeing the smiles for this effort was worth it, according to the chief.

Petersburg YMCA helped out, making 100 gift bags.

"We want to make sure the holiday cheer is still there for the kid," Marco Callender, with Petersburg YMCA, said. "We know kids are just as fatigued, mentally, emotionally, physically, during COVID time. We want to make sure during this holiday time they know people out there still care for them.”