It may have been 90 degrees in the shade on July 21, but 35 of Santa's helpers sporting Christmas hats and T-shirts braved the heat to surprise families who came to five grab-and-go meal distribution sites throughout the county.
The event -- held at Fauquier High School, Grace Miller Elementary School, M.M. Pierce Elementary School, Marsh Run Community Pool and Marshall Middle School -- was organized by Fauquier FRESH staff who were joined by a host of volunteer “elves” representing several community organizations.
Airlie donated more than 1,200 pounds of fresh produce for the event. Cucumbers, squash, cabbage, zucchini and broccoli were delivered to Santa’s workshop to be distributed in hundreds of plastic buckets placed in the vehicles of families who came to the grab-and-go satellite sites. Attached to each produce bucket was a collection of toys, including bubbles, sidewalk chalk and balls provided by the FRESH Program.
FCPS librarians gave out new books donated to the project by Fauquier Toys for Tots. The colorful summer flip-flops supplied by Warrenton United Methodist Church, thanks to a community member's donation, were a hit at the Marsh Run Community Pool site.
If parents indicated to Santa's helpers that they had preschool-aged children in their families, gifts of art supplies provided by Learning Starts Early were also placed in their cars.
“The support from our community these past few months has been incredible,” said Kristen McAuliffe, FRESH supervisor for Fauquier County Public Schools. “Christmas in July is the perfect example of how our community has united during this crisis to meet the needs of our children and families.”