Need finds Robson, who works to fill it

Local woman coordinates Christmas dinner for 25 children

By Stephanie Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

EAST ROCKINGHAM —Christie Robson had a personal desire to help one child outside of her own home this Christmas.

So as is the custom in today’s society, the 29-year-old Rockingham woman went to social media. In a forum, Robson wrote that she wanted to help someone. But who?

Stephanie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Nikki Ellerbe, left, and Christie Robson were all smiles, along with Santa Claus, during a Christmas celebration Saturday at The Hive Recreation Center in East Rockingham.

Stephanie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Nikki Ellerbe, left, and Christie Robson were all smiles, along with Santa Claus, during a Christmas celebration Saturday at The Hive Recreation Center in East Rockingham.

Families with 25 children responded: They all needed help in order to give their children a decent Christmas. Robson, nearly overwhelmed, didn’t back down from the challenge.

“If there is a way for me to do it, I wanna do it,” Robson said.

Robson enlisted the help of Nikki Ellerbe and her family and, together, managed to secure enough donations and discounted foods to bring everyone together Saturday night at The Hive Recreation Center in East Rockingham.

“I received a great response,” Robson said of community support and donations. Each family went home with two bags, one each full of gently used toys and clothing.

Around the meal and a visit with Santa Claus, the children took advantage of the open gym period at The Hive — and the inflatable bounce house — to entertain themselves.

The effort was one of community: Will and Sarah Ferguson, owners of The Hive Recreation Center, donated the use of their building for the festivities. They also supplied the beverages. Local businesses including Bojangles (biscuits, tea, napkins and trinkets) and 4 T’s Diner donated to the cause. Robson also received monetary donations from community members. Robson and a team of friends and family collected, cleaned, sorted and wrapped the gifts and purchased and prepared the food.

The families were fed turkey, ham, biscuits, macaroni, chicken tenders and cupcakes. After dinner, while the parents and grandparents socialized, the children played on bikes, trikes, skates and an inflatable bounce house until Santa arrived. Santa visited each child and took last-minute wish list items (including Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels and iPads) and handed out goodie bags.

Robson was all smiles and was heard several times exclaiming how happy she was that the kids were having a good time.

She has plans to host the event again next year, “maybe even annually.”

For now, she will continue to collect used clothing to distribute to those who need it.

Families – to those who were present, we likely have a nice photo of your child with Santa. If you want a copy at no charge to you, please call 910-331-4130. The photos were not published here to maintain your privacy.

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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