Donations needed at Virginia food pantry

WASHINGTON — The shelves at a local food pantry were nearly empty before a cry for help went out. Despite the outpouring of help, however, the organization is still in need.

Kellie Ross, who runs the House of Mercy in Manassas, Va., calls the community’s response to the food party’s empty shelves a miracle.

“One by one, kids just started coming in and some kids brought in their piggy banks; some kids brought in the food from their own pantry,” she says.

The pantry’s shelves are being refilled, but now the call is going out for toy donations.

“I can tell you that the demand for toys is high and the donations are down,” she says.

On Dec. 14, the House of Mercy will hold its big toy distribution in partnership with Georgetown South Community Council.

“We estimate that there will be 1,200 kids. It’s our largest program ever,” she says.

This is the time of year for giving, but she says right now the toy shelves are pretty bare.

“We absolutely need more toys. We’re giving away new shoes and coats,” she says.

“Everyone who is registered in our program has already taken a class on financial management or they volunteered in order to receive the toys, so they really worked at getting the toys they’re going to receive.”

She says there are toy donation boxes around the Manassas area or you can drop off toys at the House of Mercy.

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