Monday, December 11, 2023

This free holiday event will benefit military families in Hampton Roads

Last year's "Home for the Holidays" event. (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy of USO)
Last year’s “Home for the Holidays” event. (HNNDaily photo/Courtesy of USO)

As impossible as it might be to believe, the holiday season has crept up on us.

While the holidays are a time of family and fun, they can be challenging for many in Hampton Roads, including those serving in the U.S. military.

In an effort to help military families in need, the United Services Organization (USO) will host Home for the Holidays at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on Dec. 1 (7 p.m.) and Dec. 2 (4 p.m.).

The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open one hour before the show begins on both days, and Santa will also be there an hour early and available for a free family photo-op.

“It’s a free family friendly holiday celebration for everyone, with food, fun and free entertainment,” said Chelsea Lynch, director of Resource Development for the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia. “And it’s all for charity.”

The live USO-style show will feature more than 20 local artists, among them Letha Holland Deel, BJ Griffin, and the Guava Jam Band.

Every child in attendance will receive a free toy or book, Lynch said.

“We receive donations through generous sponsors and that money raised goes to the USO,” she said.

More information about the show can be found online and on Facebook.

The Convention Center is located at 1000 19th St. and parking is also free.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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