WEBER CITY — For nearly 25 years now, one chain of convenience stores in Southwest Virginia has been making Christmas more special for hundreds of less fortunate children throughout the region.
Every year, from October through December, each Riggs Oil Co. market located in Lee, Scott, Wise and Russell counties uses the money it brings in through coffee sales to buy much-needed clothes and gifts for children in need.
“If you come in and buy a coffee, we take that money and it goes toward the children’s Christmas,” State Line Market manager Liz Riggs McNabb said. “The owner (Arnie Riggs) buys all of the cups and coffee for us, he basically takes profits out of his pockets so he can give back to the community.”
McNabb said the children that receive gifts, many of which live near the various locations of Riggs Oil gas stations, are identified by working with local schools and churches.
“We mostly work through the local school systems, with the guidance counselors, and through some local churches,” McNabb said. “We get the children’s ages and sizes for clothing, we get them underwear, we buy them socks, we buy them shoes, we buy them clothes, we ask what type of toys they’re interested in because we try to buy them toys as well. But we have a lot of children in our area that don’t even have decent clothes to wear.”
The children receive their gifts prior to school dismissing for Christmas break, McNabb said.
Last year, Riggs Oil’s Santa Fund raised just over $30,000 to provide gifts for children in approximately 450 families in Southwest Virginia.
This year, McNabb said the company hopes to double the amount it brings in to help those families and more.
For more on this story read Monday's print edition of the Times-News or the expanded e-edition.