Roundup at 50

Annual program of Christmas cheer has made holidays brighter for many

Fifty years ago Christmas Eve, volunteers working with the Christian Mens’ Fellowship of First Christian Church made their way up to the doors of 18 Rockdale families.

Their hands, and hearts, were full.

In those hands were boxes, many gift wrapped, and in the boxes were over 300 toys for 99 children.

Also in the gift packages were fruit, nuts, candies and clothing. It was the start of what came to be called Christmas Roundup in Rockdale.

Within a few years other churches had joined the effort, and then it became a true community wide program of holiday cheer that required—and got—scores of volunteers.

In 2016, Roundup served 300 families with more than 1,000 family members. That’s a sizable percentage of the number of persons who live in our community.

It’s worth noting those are 50 consecutive Christmases. Roundup has been here when things were good and when things were not so good.

Alcoa running full ahead at eight potlines. Roundup’s here.

Alcoa laying off people. Roundup’s here.

Alcoa closed and Luminant about to. Roundup’s here.

That would be 2017.

So the all-volunteer organization needs our help more than ever this time around.

Good and not-so-good economic times roll around in cycles but Christmas, and children, are here forever.

Fortunately, while the effort can certainly use money and donations of toys and food, it also needs good old-fashioned, get your hands a little dirty and brows a little sweaty work.

Come to the KC Hall Monday, Dec. 17, and on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 18, beginning at 9 a.m., and they will put you to work.

Will they do it without you? You bet. Will it be easier with you? Same answer.

Nominations to be served by Roundup end Friday. There’s a list on page 1A of where to pick up forms.

If you need more information on the Roundup effort call Allen Sanders at 512-446-3351 or email

Before looking forward, though, how about looking backward and saying a grateful prayer for those hundreds of volunteers, many of them no longer physically with us, who worked so hard to be sure so many Rockdale children since 1967 never awoke on Christmas morning and uttered the saddest of all words.

“Santa missed me.”—M.B.

Click here for digital edition
2017-12-07 digital edition

Copyright 2009-2018 Rockdale Reporter, All Rights Reserved.

Special Sections

Special Sections