Decorate A Vet spreads holiday cheer to veterans in need

A team of Santa's helpers spread Christmas cheer to military veterans in Northern Virginia.

WASHINGTON — A team of Santa’s helpers spread Christmas cheer to military veterans in Northern Virginia.

The sun shone brightly Saturday morning when about 50 volunteers from Decorate A Vet swarmed in on a townhouse in Falls Church.

“This house belongs to a 25-year Marine Corps. veteran and his wife,” Jeffery Jones says.

Jones founded the non-profit four years ago. It’s goal is to beautify and decorates veterans’ homes for the holidays.

Jessica Knight, her husband Ray Brooks and their four kids live in this particular home. Knight watches as the volunteers transform the outside of her house into a festive winter wonderland, complete with a snowman and Santa Claus.

Knight says she is touched by this random act of kindness, especially since she is battling stage three breast cancer.

“We’re incredibly grateful. Just the love pouring in is wonderful,” she says. “Anything that brings smiles to my kids’ faces makes it all OK.”

Knight says she has got a long road ahead of her in her battle with the disease.

“We did landscaping in the front,” Jones says. “There’s a patio in the back and we’re decorate it all.”

He says since Knight is going through medical treatments and needs an in-home caregiver, Decorate A Vet is going to renovate some closets and move some walls around to provide space for that person to stay at the home.

Jones makes it very clear this is not charity — this is more like a holiday gift.

“It is kind of gratifying,” he says. “The first year we did three houses. This year we have 12.”

Decorate A Vet expects to clean up and decorate nine homes this weekend, and finish the remaining three homes next Saturday.

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