LUMBERTON — With just a week until the Boys and Girls Club of Lumberton/Robeson County’s annual Christmas Party, a shortage of toy donations threatens holiday cheer.
The club, which serves children ages 6 to 18, will host its annual Christmas party on Dec. 20, during which as many as 500 children will be expecting a gift. But, according to Ron Ross, the club’s executive director, as of Monday of this week, there were only 110 donated gifts.
“We get older and we forget what it’s like to be a kid,” Ross said. “The economy may be bad, but Christmas is about reaching out and helping. They may get a $10 gift, but the memory of the event is what they will remember.”
Ross, who has been associated with the national organization for 44 years, is asking the public to make donations of gifts at any of 21 locations where they are being collected. Monetary donations, which are tax-deductible, can be mailed to P.O. Box 2067, Lumberton, NC 28359. For more information, call 910-738-8474.
“We want people to have fond memories of Christmas regardless of their situation,” Ross said. “I live for the moment of handing out that Christmas gift and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces. If I could pick a moment in my whole life, that’s the moment I live for.”
The party begins at 11 a.m. at the club’s North Seneca Street headquarters, with music by the Carolina Breakers. Free snacks, refreshments and gifts are available to all youths attending the event.
“We’re here to serve young people from all walks of life,” Ross said. “We work hard all year to support our community and offer a get-together where we can see nothing but smiles.”
Donations can be dropped off at the following locations: Arby’s; Biggs Park Mall; Captain D’s; Cracker Barrel; Farm Bureau Insurance; Girlees And Brothers Too; House of Quality; Lowes Foods; Lowe’s Home Improvement; Lumbee Guaranty Bank; Lumberton Ford; First Bank; McDonald’s restaurants in Lumberton, Fairmont and St. Pauls; Sears; Shoney’s; Sweet Candy Cafe; Texas Steakhouse; Washington’s Men’s Store; and Fair Bluff Ford.