East Ridge kids get unexpected Christmas surprise
(WRCB) - An East Ridge community has stepped up to the plate this year to provide a good Christmas to struggling families.
A local company and its vendors started their mission just a few weeks ago. Wednesday night they were able to help more families in need than they initially thought.
The pastor of a small, newly formed church, New Beginnings Family Worship Center, is also and employee at contracting company Jake Marshall LLC. In just three weeks, he was able to get his church family and work family to perform a Christmas miracle for several East Ridge families.
Gifts, food, and smiles were aplenty as dozens of local children counted their presents Wednesday night. They're presents, their parents, didn't know if they'd be getting this year. Like, mother of four, Ruby Ledford.
"We thank everyone for everything they've done for the family to help us all out. We do greatly appreciate it," Ruby Ledford said.
Pastor Robert Cargile knew he wanted to help families like hers, but wasn't sure where to start.
"I asked the lord to bring me some families. Well, next morning when I got to work, several families, several names, from where I work at, also in the community just started coming to me," Pastor Robert Cargile said.
His employer, East Ridge contracting company Jake Marshall LLC got involved and pretty soon their vendors jumped in too.
"Within three weeks, we had $4,000. We thought we'd raise a thousand. We were shocked," Cargile said.
What started as a goal of providing Christmas dinner and gifts for three or four families turned into dozens of families.
"The economy is real bad right now and the way things are happening and the way people are helping others is grateful," Ledford said.
Those who reached out their hands sat down to dinner with those who needed the help and both were grateful.
"It's wonderful to know that we've been able to help families that may not otherwise have a Christmas," volunteer Andrea Dillard said.
"It's so exciting to see someone get something that they never expected," volunteer Anita Johnson said.
One teen even giving up some of her own presents, to her peers.
"I want kids to be like me for Christmas, to have things that I don't have and that I do have and just have a blessed Christmas," Dnairien Keith said.
Pastor Cargile says they definitely plan on doing this again next year and hope planning even further in advance will mean they help, even more families in need.