Help Make Christmas Very Special For Two Nelson Families

This year NCL is teaming up with one special individual that's returning the favor to familes needing a little help this Christmas.

Nelson County, Virginia
Nelson County’s Emergency Services Coordinator, Ray Uttaro, is enjoying life. You see Ray quoted many times here in news stories affecting the county. He has a tremendous family including fantastic grandchildren! But, Ray tells us things weren’t always as good as they are now. “When I first got to Nelson it was a tough time, I had very little. There were people that stepped up and helped me out way back then. I have never forgotten it. I always said if I had the chance later in life to help people out I would,” Ray told us while chatting over coffee a few days ago in Nellysford.

Since those early days as things got better, Ray has quietly been picking out families that need help during the holidays. It’s generally two or three families, but he makes sure they have a BIG Christmas. “There’s no administrative cost, no red tape, I just try to make a list of what’s needed and see if I can get people to pitch in. I really want to make sure the kids have a great Christmas. Every child should be able to enjoy Christmas, even in tough times,” Ray continues.

This year Ray is asking for your help. He’s already got one family taken care of, but two others are on the list. NCL is a drop point on the west side of Nelson. Ray can accept donations at his office in Lovingston for folks near there. His office is located in the Nelson Sheriff’s Office in the communications center. We will forward all of the items to Ray who will make sure they get to the two families in need this year.

Here’s what Ray says the needs are:

Family #1

Family of 5
Father is working part-time & so is the mother.
The each split shifts to care for the children. Father was working full-time until about 6 months ago when he was laid off.

Father is 30 years old who wears an XL in tops and about a 38/32 in slacks.
Mother is 29 who wears a M/L in tops

Ray tells us neither parent wanted any help for themselves, but wanted to make sure the kids had a good Christmas. Ray says let’s make sure they all have a good Christmas! Ray wanted to supply a Christmas meal and gifts for everyone.

The Children:

5 year old girl, average size. She loves books and being a princess. She’s not seeking anything in particular this year, just a happy littel 5 year old.

3 year old boy, average size. Loves trucks or any other type of educational toys. His parents have indicated he has a learning disability and is getting help in special education.

1 year old boy. Average size. Loves to get around and play.

Ray says this family was generous enough to help out a less fortunate family about four years ago and now wants them to have a special Christmas!

Family #2

Family of 4
Both parents have been laid off and the mother is working part-time to make ends meet. They are long time residents of Nelson County living a very modest lifestyle with no luxuries, computers, cable, games, etc.

The family is seeking assistance in obtaining a meal for Christmas Day. Other than their immediate household family – they have no other family left in Nelson and are not able to travel to see other relative who now live out of the state.

Again, the parents have asked for nothing, but wish something for their children. But we know the mom is a large and the dad is a medium, so let’s make it happen anyway!

The children:

A 12 year old boy normal weight and height

The other child is a 10 year old boy who is a little small for his age, but about average.

Ray and our wish for the family is to help them have a big Christmas! Santa’s helper tells us the kids would love a Wii but would never make such a request. Ray says this is a big order, but says the gift would be so very special to all of them.

This is a tough time for just about everyone, but many are so less fortunate than all of us. Let’s make this happen and give these two Nelson families a Christmas they will never forget!

All items are listed above are encouraged, but please no cash or checks, gift cards are welcome!

You can mail gift cards or certificates to:
A Family Christmas
C/O Nelson County Life Magazine
P.O. Box 455
Wintergreen, Virginia 22958-0455

We will have a large box/trunk set up here at our Afton Group/NCL offices in Greenfield (6222 Rockfish Valley Highway) – right on the front porch, just drop your donated items in there. If it’s a perishable food item please email us first to make prior arrangements. We’ll make sure Ray gets them and on to the families.

Merry Christmas and thank you all!


  1. We would like to contribute to Family #2. Would it be possible to give a gift certificate to a local food store (Food Lion) that could be used for Christmas food etc.,(and afterward) or is that something that is needed? Is this something needed or would Ray Uttaro have a better idea? He can get in touch with us at 361-1444.

  2. Sure Ann, we are telling people that want to send gift card/certificates to send them to:
    A Family Christmas
    C/O Nelson County Life Magazine
    P.O. Box 455
    Wintergreen, Virginia 22958-0455

    We will see that Ray gets them to the families.

    Thank you so much and Merry Christmas!


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