742nd Combat Sustainment Group grants Christmas wish of Team Robins family

Shawn and Lisa Williams lost their home to a fire in October. Pictured is what was left following the destruction. U.S. Air Force photo by SUE SAPP

Shawn and Lisa Williams lost their home to a fire in October. Pictured is what was left following the destruction. U.S. Air Force photo by SUE SAPP

Shawn and Lisa Williams are surrounded by gifts from members of the 742nd Combat Sustainment Group. The group  adopted the family for Christmas after they lost their home to fire. U.S. Air Force photo by SUE SAPP

Shawn and Lisa Williams are surrounded by gifts from members of the 742nd Combat Sustainment Group. The group adopted the family for Christmas after they lost their home to fire. U.S. Air Force photo by SUE SAPP

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Each year during the holiday season, members of Team Robins give back to the community as part of their celebration of the season. On Dec. 15, members of the 742nd Combat Sustainment Group were able to spread a little Christmas cheer to a family in need.

As Shawn Williams, who helps his brother Kory run a snack bar in Bay F of Bldg. 300, walked among more than 50 members of the 742nd CBSG who adopted his family this Christmas, he stood amazed as he stopped to stare at a tree overshadowed by mounds of donated presents for his family. The only word uttered by Shawn after the presentation of gifts was "awesome."

"When it comes to Christmas, it lifts a burden. It lifts a heavy burden incurred due to the tragedy," Shawn said.

Shawn and his family have been learning how to start over after their life was altered Oct. 5 when a house fire engulfed their home. The family lost everything to the fire and wasn't expecting a big Christmas this year. There were too many other things on the agenda, as they worked to settle with the insurance company and planned to rebuild their home. However, the 742nd CBSG had big plans for the family's Christmas.

Shawn and his wife Lisa Williams and their four children: Devon, 16; Shanice, 14; Kendra, 12; and Shantel, 10, were all asked to make a wish list of things they would most like to see under their tree on Christmas morning. Members of the 742nd CBSG then helped fulfill the family's Christmas wishes.

After delivering presents to Shawn at Bldg. 300, his co-workers loaded up two large SUVs with gifts and headed to the family's temporary home. When the volunteers arrived at the Williams' home, Lisa was the one who was in awe as a handful of volunteers began bringing in load after load of presents.

Lisa kept expecting the presents to stop coming, but the presents seemed to only get bigger and the dining room seemed to grow smaller as the volunteers continued to stack presents.

"I didn't expect two truck loads and I didn't think it would cover up the whole dining room, but it did," Lisa said. "I don't know what my kids are going to think when they walk through the door."

Members of the 742nd CBSG felt grateful to not only give to someone in need this Christmas, but to be able to give to a family they work with and be able to see the gratitude of the Williams family.

"These folks are right outside our office and we have a relationship with them. It's nice to be able to help someone you know," said Marty Tucker, 742nd CBSG deputy director.