Family turns loss into tradition of giving

Posted December 5, 2014

Volunteers did the shopping Friday for the Chris Groom Memorial Fund.

— A Raleigh family has turned their loss into a gift for children across the Triangle, one that has grown and grown for more than a decade.

On Friday, more than 30 volunteers fanned out in the aisles of the Brier Creek Target for the 10th annual Chris Groom Memorial Fund/Toys for Tots shopping spree.

After losing their son in a car accident in October 2003, Groom's parents committed themselves to raising money year-round for children's causes.

"You can do several things when you have a tragedy like that. We decided to turn it into some good," Mike Groom said.

They were inspired by a story told at Chris's funeral, of a gift he made to North Raleigh United Methodist Church without their knowledge. 

Pastor Bob O'Keef told the Grooms that, in the Christmas season before his death, Chris had given $100 for less-fortunate children to have toys.

The Grooms return each year to Brier Creek because it is near the scene of the car accident that claimed Chris's life.

"This is what we can do in his honor, and we feel good about it, and year after year we’re just amazed at how many people want to help," Groom said.


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  • mlroush329 Dec 8, 2014

    I hate to be a negative nelly about an awesome cause….and this is awesome. But when the volunteers are shouting obscenities amongst each other and in to a cell phone in the toy section (this was an adult) while I'm shopping with my 4 year old…makes it kind of hard to have any respect for the organization. Maybe try acting with an ounce of class? At least when you are supposed to be representing your charity.