Monday, March 10, 2014 8:24 AM
The Register of Wills Cereta A. Lee, Christmas Drive Families and Attorney Sha’Ron Kelsey gathered to celebrate the holiday cheer in gift giving. Photo by Pamela Alston
Published on: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Pamela Alston, Special to The Sentinel
On Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, the Register of Wills for Prince George’s County hosted its 7th annual Christmas Drive for families in need. The event was held in Register of Wills Cereta Lee’s office and was attended by Lee’s staff, recipients of the Christmas Drive and one of the Christmas Drive donors, Attorney Sha’Ron Kelsey. The 2013 Christmas Drive was unique since it was the first time the Register of Wills served military families in need.
“It was an honor and a pleasure to assist in helping those whose lives are dedicated to protecting and serving our country,” said Kelsey. “It was an absolute joy to watch the children as they engaged in the act of unwrapping their gifts.”
Register of Wills Deputies Robin Hynson and Marita Loney coordinated the Christmas Drive and asked Master Sergeant Don Simpson who is First Sergeant at Andrews Air Force Base, to identify families in need. According to The Huffington Post, there are myriads of military families who are in need of just the basics.
Leonard McNill helped his sons Lavor and Landon open their Christmas gifts. Photo by Pamela Alston
Donations were also received from Mr. Robert Claggett, Esq., Porschia Poindexter, Esq., Perry J. Becker, Esq. and Mr. Archie L. Palmore, Esq. and other supporters whose generosity made this past Christmas memorable for five military families which totaled ten children. In Maryland, there are currently over 27,717 active duty military personnel serving our country.
Simpson came to the Register of Wills Office on behalf of two families who were unable to come and receive their gifts. Simpson stated that the two families were extremely surprised and didn’t realize that they were recipients of the Christmas Drive. Simpson stated that the families were “shocked and very elated” when he delivered the gifts that day. The Cleveland family includes Isabel, age four and Savannah, age two and they were overjoyed to receive three bags of gifts which included clothing and toys for the girls.
The Sanchez family was equally grateful and excited at the “Surprise Santa Claus” played by Simpson. Desirae Sanchez was at work when Simpson arrived with the gifts which included clothing and toys for her 3-year-old son. Sanchez’s son was so excited because he received a toy robot that he had wished for. The other families in attendance included Mr. and Mrs. Jarrett Harris and their son Jeremiah along with their neighbor’s daughter Maya; the McNill family, including father Leonard and his two sons Landon and Lavar who are each 1-year-old.
Register Lee and the Register of Wills staff and supporters are always eager to serve the community each year during the holidays, because according to a representative, the Christmas season is the time when many are looking for the basics of life such as shelter, love and community support in these challenging economic times.
Krystall Harris and her son Jeremiah experienced the joy of the season as they opened the generous gift. Photo by Pamela Alston