It’s been six years since Angela Harper retired as a Henrico deputy county manager, but she still gets involved in helping the community, drawing on her experience supporting the Henrico Christmas Mother throughout her decades-long career with the county.

A former county planner who worked her way up the ranks, Harper, 72, will be the Henrico Christmas Mother this year, leading the county’s annual fundraising and donation drive that helps local families in need during the holiday season.

Starting with her experience as a Girl Scout in Nashville, Tenn., supporting the Salvation Army at Christmas, picking out toys for kids, to her recent volunteer efforts supporting the Henrico Christmas Mother, “I felt this was a milestone moment in my life to help others,” Harper said about being asked to take on the role this year.

The Henrico Christmas Mother is a nonprofit corporation distinct from the annual Richmond Christmas Mother Fund organized by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Both organizations raise money and donations to provide food, clothing, toys and gifts for children and families throughout the region.

Harper noted that a large number of kids — about 23,000 last year, according to the Virginia Department of Education — enrolled in Henrico County Public Schools are eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school.

“This number is indicative of their families’ need for food during the winter break since the children will not have these meals provided,” she said.

“The provision of nonperishable food and gift cards for perishable food for the families with children, senior adults and disabled adults ranks as the most important reason to help.”

Donations to the Henrico Christmas Mother can be mailed to Henrico Christmas Mother at P.O. Box 70338, Henrico, VA, 23255-0338 or online at henricochristmasmother.org/makeadonation.html.

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