Roving Reporter | "Rockport's Robinhood Saves Christmas for Many" Text and 10 Photos by Jeanette Larson

April Garvey (r) shops for her 4-year-old son

Local families impacted by Hurricane Harvey were able to select toys and other items for their kids at the Rockport Robinhood toy distribution. The program, started by local Rebecca Gray Peres, is in its fourth year. The group served 102 families and approximately 400 children during the main distribution on Saturday, December 16. Each parent or grandparent was given an assigned time to come to First Baptist Church to do their holiday shopping.

Peres (l) talks with volunteers

The distribution was served by more than two dozen volunteers, all from outside the Rockport area. Teri and Cliff Heck came with Community Bible Church in Bulverde, TX to help. Members of the church have been to Rockport on two previous occasions to help with clean up and distribution of supplies. Church member Carla Clark heard about Rockport Robinhood and decided that it should be the focus of the church's blessing tree this year. All of the toys, food, blankets, gift cards, bikes, and cleaning supplies were donated. Food baskets, for example, were donated by a woman from Round Rock, TX and Kyra Odat with Edward Jones in New Braunfels dropped off household goods to be given away. Every family left with toys for their children or grandchildren, a bag of food, and household goods and cleaning supplies.

Peres says she started the program because of her extreme couponing. People started calling her Robinhood because she used coupons to get grocery and household items free or very cheaply and then gave away her bargains. Now the group, which is solely supported through donations of goods, helps local families for Halloween, Easter, back to school, and, according to Peres, any other holidays or notable dates for which she can collect materials. Rockport Robinhood is on Facebook and those interested in helping with donations for future distributions can contact Peres through the page. The group does not accept cash donations but rather asks that donors buy items that are needed by local families.

Image may contain: outdoor and nature
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Peres
Kristy Albaugh (c) checks in to start shopping

Toys are separated by age groups

London Geisendorff from San Antonio helps distribute quilts

Teri and Cliff Heck

Lots of Christmas cookies

Carla Clark helps with books

Kyra Odet (l) brought donations from New Braunsfels

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