Man Who Grew Up Poor Brings $12K In Christmas Presents To Kids In Old Town
By Bill Galluccio
December 11, 2019
A Virginia man who grew up living in poverty decided to give back to the community where he was raised. Adam Armstrong filled a 26-foot truck with $12,000 worth of Christmas presents and dropped them off to young kids who live in low-income housing all across Harrisonburg, which is about 130 miles southwest of Washington D.C.
"I remember Harrisonburg being a friendly small town," Armstrong told NBC News. "I remember government housing and a lot of poverty, crimes, drugs, violence, and things of that nature. Every time I see kids, I know it's not their fault where they are."
Armstrong started out at Harris Gardens, where he donned a Santa hat and handed out toys to all the kids who showed up. Harris Gardens property manager Sara Lewis-Weeks thought that he was just going to bring some small toys, but was elated when he showed up with a truck filled bigger toys such as bikes and remote-controlled cars.
"They thought it was going to be a couple of stuffed animals, not, 'And you get a bike, and you get a bike, and you get a bike,' like an 'Oprah' for little kids," Lewis-Weeks said. "He didn't miss anybody. His heart was truly in this"
After Adams was done at Harris Gardens, he stopped by three other low-income developments in the area to deliver the rest of the toys. He still had some gifts leftover, so he donated them to the Salvation Army.
Adams has been giving away toys every year since 2013, but this is the biggest one he has ever done. He said that he feels very blessed that he was able to overcome the mistakes of his youth, which included spending time in jail for selling marijuana, and wants to give back to the community.
“You see these kids, and you hand them a baby doll, or a Nerf gun, a bicycle, two little boys throwing a football, and you can't put a price on the feeling that gives you," Armstrong said. "I consider myself very blessed."