WINDSOR — Robin Hamilton knows her community well and felt it needed a boost in holiday cheer.
Hamilton, the manager of the Windsor General Store located in the Shell gas station off Charleston Highway, got her staff together, along with other residents, to make sure children in her small town have a joyous Christmas. As of Friday, the store managed to supply gifts to 111 children in the area.
Close to 50 percent of those residing in her surrounding community live in poverty, Hamilton said. She said she wanted to make a difference so she gathered letters from children to see what they'd like for Christmas.
The endeavor has been an emotional one for Hamilton and her volunteers. Some of the letters were heartbreaking, Hamilton said. One child asked for groceries and another 6-year-old girl asked for her mother back because she missed her.
She added that some of the parents who have come in to pick up the gifts have left in tears, ecstatic they have something to put under their Christmas tree for their children.
Thanks to donations from the community to fulfill these children's wishes, a lot of local families will have a merrier Christmas, Hamilton said
“You think that you live in such an evil world, but this has changed my mind on how giving people can be,” Hamilton said. “I think that it's a true blessing from God that it turned out this well.”
The store will also open up a trailer filled with clothes that were donated so residents can pick up what they need for free. The little makeshift thrift store will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hamilton said.
Hamilton thanked her staff, store owner Billy Howard, the community and volunteer Destiny Troutt who picked up donations from all around the county.
Hamilton said she hopes to make this an annual tradition.
Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. She is a native of Rustburg, Va. and a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College.