Everyone knows Santa has help from his elves to make all the presents that good little boys and girls want for Christmas; but what you may not know is there is a particular group of elves helping out the man in red right here in Thomaston. While most of his special helpers work at the North Pole, this group works at the local Home Depot and are in the business of making dreams comes true for children in our community.
Matissa Walker is one of the special helpers, who while making a phone call to SUPPORT (the organization which helps local cancer patients) was told of a little boy who had been praying for a Batmobile bed, and she knew he was someone her group could help. Ty Ross is a five-year-old who was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia called Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) nearly two years ago. He is in love with super heroes and has even been nicknamed “Super Ty” by his nurses at Egleston. Walker originally went to Home Depot Assistant Manager Dean Breland to discuss making the bed for Ty, but when he heard the story, he thought there was an idea they could build upon. He suggested a Superhero-themed bedroom, complete with wall decals of Batman, Spiderman and Superman; and of course the coolest bed around.
“This was just real excitement for us,” said Ty’s grandmother, Julie Yarborough. She, along with her husband John, have had custody of Ty since he was diagnosed with JMML. They were both elated and thankful when they heard what the team at Home Depot wanted to do. “We are just so grateful for everyone making this a reality for Ty.”
After planning out the design and collecting materials, crews worked for two days painting the walls and furniture and putting up decorations in order to get the room ready. It was kept a complete surprise for Ty, who stayed at his great-grandmother’s while the renovations were going on. Ty was speechless last Saturday when he walked through the door to see not only his new room, but also Santa there to welcome him with his very own Santa hat.
As he sat in the middle of his Batmobile bed, Ty looked around in awe taking in each detail of his extra special early Christmas present. He excitedly pointed out his name on the bed and promised Santa that he would be a good boy, before thanking everyone involved for his new room.
“Thank you very much,” he said as he hugged each person with a huge smile on his face, “I love my new room.”
Walker noted that nearly every employee at Home Depot contributed to the project in some way, but there were several people she wanted to give a special shout out to: Kevin Brown, John Marriage, Candice Riggins, DeVonte Alexander, Peggy Shepherd, Chris Dennis, Ceasar Reyes, Lenski Corbin, Betina Bailon, Leslie Peyton, Assistant Managers Dean Breland, Jason Melton and Matthew Brannon as well as local craftsmen Buck Adams and Micahel Cochran for building the Batmobile bed.