Newcomerstown resident, Robert Ferguson is on a very important Christmas mission, and is working against the clock to get there! The mission’s main purpose is about love, compassion, and giving, topics that entwine the Christmas season. Ferguson said he believes in these key factors, and said that his late wife, Karen was also a firm believer in these factors. Ferguson said he has always loved the Christmas season, and had previously played the role of Santa Claus for several years at some of the functions, and events in the Harrison County area where the couple were originally from.

Earlier this year, Ferguson said that his idea for the Christmas project became stronger during the time of his wife’s terminal illness. He said that they discussed a plan about giving gifts to those individuals in the area that are less fortunate, and decide the goal would be to collect as many toys as they could, then distribute them to area children at Christmas. He said they began earlier this past summer picking up used toys, and bicycles, and refurbishing them. He said that as his wife’s condition deteriorated that she became even more determined for the project to be completed, and asked that Ferguson continue with their plan no matter what happened. Ferguson said that when his wife passed in September 2019 that the project became even more important.

Ferguson said that he has been going full force collecting toys and bicycles, and has approximately fifty bicycles of all sizes (for children and adults). He said that he has given a few away to several local residents that desperately needed transportation to get to and from work at various places of employment in town. Ferguson said that while the project was originally planned for the benefit of children, that he is also now including some of the adults. Ferguson said he has many riding-type toys for children, including a few items such as bouncers for infants.

Ferguson said that he and his wife originally started out by funding the project with $600 from their own pocket. He stressed that none of the toys, or bicycles are being sold, and that the project is completely non-profit . He said that all of the toys will be given way, and any that are left over will be donated to a church, day care, or local fund raiser event.

Ferguson’s plan is to announce the event, and start giving the toys, and bicycles away in front of his residence on Center Street, Newcomerstown on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 1 to 6 p.m., or until the toys, and bicycles are all gone. He said that in order to give everyone a fair chance at a toy that he will distribute a number system (similar to a lottery). There will be no early previews, or give-aways, so plan to be there December 14.

Ferguson said that anyone that might have gently used toys, bicycles that they would wish to donate for the event could reach him at 740-491-3535. He will pick up the items.