Bill Gregory is a lot skinnier than Santa Claus. And his wife Terry is far younger than Mrs. Claus.
But they are the Christmas couple in the flesh. They even have a couple of elves.
The work bays at Gregory’s Marine & RV in Rock Hill, which through most of the year are filled with boats for service, will be turned into Santa’s workshop through Christmas. For more than a decade, the shop is where hundreds, maybe thousands, of toys have been assembled for kids who might not get a Christmas gift without them.
“We just love being able to help children who might not have a Christmas,” Terry Gregory said.
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Bill Gregory, who has run the business for decades, said the community has always been good to them, so it is his belief that they must do all they can for others. No toy is too large, no gift too big.
A longtime friend of Claude Burns, whose auto dealership has assembled Christmas toys for decades, Bill Gregory saw that he had the knowledge, the tools, and the willingness to be part of Christmas.
Gregory, Terry, their son Kevin, and employee Justin Lucas, all volunteer to put together toys, bicycles, anything that a kid will love. They have had doll houses and radio cars and jeeps, go-karts, countless bicycles and more come in boxes and leave wrapped for children.
“This is something we love doing for children and families,” Bill Gregory said.
Not only does the Gregory team assemble toys, they store toys for people until Dec. 23 so kids can be surprised.
Anyone who wants to donate toys for needy children can bring gifts to the shop through Dec. 23. The Gregorys work with their church, Lakewood Baptist Church, to identify needy families and give out as many toys and gifts as they can.
Bill and Terry Gregory say Christmas is about love and giving.
So they do both.
Want to donate?
Need help with a toy, or want to donate? Gregory’s Marine & RV is at 3021 Mount Gallant Road, Rock Hill and is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Call 803-329-5333, or go to gregorysmarineandrv.com.