With the annual Radford Sheriff’s Office Christmas party for senior citizens cancelled by COVID-19, Sheriff Mark Armentrout came up with a new way to give back to the seniors: the distribution by the sheriff’s office of Christmas gift boxes.
The Christmas party is a function of TRIAD, a cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies (police/fire/sheriffs), senior citizens and senior organizations focused on reducing crimes against the community’s most vulnerable citizens: its seniors.
During Thanksgiving, the Radford Sheriff’s Office pulled winners out of a hat and delivered five Thanksgiving holiday baskets to the lucky winners. The baskets were filled to the brim with everything needed for a Thanksgiving dinner, including a gift card for a turkey. This gesture was noticed by several citizens in the community who expressed a desire to pitch in and do even more for Christmas.
Tom Hannifan of the Snowville Masonic Lodge #159 donated $500 to the Radford City TRIAD to be used to pay for, pack and distribute Christmas gift boxes for TRIAD members. A plan was set in place to give each member of TRIAD a Christmas gift. Soon after, another willing citizen donated $300 towards this effort.
Radford business owner Abie Williams of Stifel Nicolaus and Co. also donated $500.00. Jeff Caldwell of Ship on Site of Radford donated all the gift boxes, and Scott Armentrout of Radford Drug donated gifts as well.
The donations were enough to expand and include every participant in the Radford Sheriff’s Office Good Morning Radford Program a gift as well. The Good Morning Radford program calls participants every morning for a well-being check. This daily call program started in 2005 and has continued every day for the past 15 years.
With such large support, the deputies of the Sheriff’s Office, Accreditation manager/ Secretary Shannon Linkous and volunteer Kat Daily chipped in and prepared the gift boxes. When Jae De La Mora heard of the gifts, she encouraged her children to create handmade cards to be included in each gift box.
The boxes were stuffed with a variety of items ranging from Christmas goodies and personal protective equipment to household items and much more.
The gift box distribution was such a success that Sheriff Armentrout has declared his hopes of making the effort an annual event.