Community Responds to Help Ministry Support Children and Families in Rockingham | News

Ann Fish Special at RockinghamNow

STONEVILLE – Joy and smiles dominated the faces of around 400 families on Saturday as Hometown Christmas Drive-Thru volunteers handed out new toys, stockings, hygiene bags and boxes of food in the parking lot at Southern Warehouse Finishing Plant 17.

“My heart is overflowing with joy to see everyone receiving blessings that have been given by others,” said Dawn Evans Hilburn, from Stoneville. She and her husband Robert organized Hometown Christmas a year ago to help families who are struggling to provide for their children due to the pandemic.

As the cars passed, Santa Claus, looking remarkably like Charles Reed, gave over 800 bags of candy to enthusiastic children.

Other volunteers from several churches, businesses and organizations added to the cheerful atmosphere by providing boxes of toys, socks and over 100 bikes. While some children received coats and shoes, everyone received new pillows and blankets to help keep them warm this winter.

“So many families have suffered over the past two years – not only financially, but mentally – because of the COVID restrictions that have drastically changed their lives,” said Dawn Hilburn. “We were overwhelmed by the gratitude we received. We want to change a child’s heart forever and leave a handprint of the love of Jesus that they will always remember.

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