MARSHVILLE, NC (WBTV) -Dozens of community members in Marshville came together Sunday afternoon to put on a Christmas Parade for a little boy that is battling a serious illness.
Ryder Riggins, 4, has been hospitalized twice in the past two months because of his sickness which forced him to miss the 2018 Marshville Parade last Saturday.
According to Ryder’s mother, Mandy, Ryder was supposed to ride in a fire truck during the parade.
After the family was forced to miss the parade, Mandy Riggins reached out on social media asking if anyone would be interested in putting on a small parade just for Ryder. The response she got was overwhelming.
“I told him that since he had missed the parade in Marshville, mommy had gotten some friends together to do a parade just for him,” said Riggins.
Sunday, dozens rode trucks, cars, motorcycles, and floats past Ryder’s home while he looked on.
“He didn’t know what to think and then he saw me crying and wiped my tears and said, ‘mommy don’t cry,'” said Riggins.
Nearly 10 different Volunteer Fire Departments rode fire trucks in the parade.
“In today’s world in which we live, so much bad things go on. It is just a little effort that we could put forward to put a smile on a kid’s face,” said Jeremy Johnson who spearheaded the efforts to put the parade on. “It has been a huge blessing seeing this community show up. It takes a village to get it together.”
Both the Grinch and Santa Claus were also there to hang out with Ryder.
“It is heartwarming because I didn’t expect it. I mean half these people I do not know,” said Riggins. “For them all to come together for my baby, it means the world to me. They didn’t have to do this.”
After the parade was over, Ryder was able to meet many of the people that helped put the event on and give them a hug.
“I am very thankful, thankful for everybody,” said Riggins.
Many of those that volunteered to make the parade special did not know Ryder personally, but say they felt it was the right thing to do.
“There are givers and takers in life and we need to be a giver and not always a taker,” said Johnson