Soldiers, retired women come together to bring Christmas cheer to veterans

Credit: WRIC 8News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two unusual groups are coming together to bring Christmas cheer to local veterans.

Dozens of retired women recently teamed up with soldiers at Fort Lee to give Christmas presents to veterans at McGuire VA Hospital.

Those involved say giving back to veterans around this time of year is just their small way of saying thank you for their service.

Credit: WRIC 8News

Finding a special Christmas gift for that special someone can be a challenge when limited mobility is a factor.

That’s why 1st Sgt. Arthur Ireland is offering his time to patients at McGuire VA Hospital.

“Makes me feel good as a soldier to know that there are so many people to give back to the soldiers that give back to our country,” Ireland said.

Soldiers from Fort Lee helped McGuire patients participate in a holiday extravaganza.

The event brings tables full of goodies for patients to choose from since most of them aren’t able to go out shopping for themselves.

Charlotte Bailey helped organize the event.

“We have children’s gifts, we have gifts specifically for women, specifically for me, specifically for families,” Bailey said.

And it’s made possible by Bailey and a group of retired women who call themselves LARKS: Ladies’ Acts of Random Kindness and Services.

“We were already doing volunteer work at the hospital so we said, oh, we’ll just take these to the hospital,” Bailey said.

It’s a concept that takes about a year to put together. Soldiers from Fort Lee said they are proud to take part.

“It’s just something that we can do as soldiers,” he said. “We stand on the shoulders of past soldiers, so it’s the least we can do on holiday time to help them feel a little bit more comfortable during the holiday season.”

This is the third year LARKS held the holiday extravaganza.