CCSO, ‘Stuff-A-Stocking’ partnership delivers holiday happiness during Christmas season

Pittsboro, NC – On December 19, nearly 70 children and their families were treated to surprise holiday gifts, courtesy of the kindness of numerous anonymous donors.

The ‘Stuff-A-Stocking’ initiative is a collaboration between Bynum resident Lesley Dean Matthews, who launched the charitable effort more than a dozen years ago and continues to spearhead the drive, and the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, through its ‘Sheriff’s Sleigh’ program.

Motivated by a simple desire to lend a helping hand, Lesley explained, “I’m not running a non-profit. I’m just a neighbor driven by the desire to assist local children and families facing hardships.”

Her inspiration stemmed from observing the needs of children when her eldest daughter, now in college, was just four years old. Since then, Lesley’s initiative has grown steadily, fueled by the support of friends, neighbors, and numerous anonymous contributors.

 “I saw so many kids who seemed to need support,” she said, prompting her to act. The result was ‘Stuff-A-Stocking.’ 

“It started small,” she said, “but every year more people step up to lend a hand. It just started snowballing.”

Collaborating with various agencies over the years, including the Chatham County Department of Social Services, Lesley broadened her network of support. Five years ago, she joined forces with the Sheriff’s Office, integrating her efforts with the CCSO’s ‘Sheriff’s Sleigh’ program, which assists Lesley with distribution.

The CCSO’s Victim Services unit is also integral to the effort, identifying families in Chatham County needing support.

This year’s collaboration between ‘Sheriff’s Sleigh’ and ‘Stuff-A-Stocking’ received overwhelming response from hundreds of donors who generously provided toys, bicycles, clothing, gift cards, and essential items.

Sheriff Mike Roberson expressed gratitude for the opportunity to support the cause.

“Our strength lies in our unity as a community, caring for one another and working together toward common goals,” Sheriff Roberson said. “What’s most important is the reminder that there is still hope and goodness in the world.”