A Home for the Holidays: School Community Surprises Baker Elementary Family with Keys to Happy New Year

When Elicia Robinson and her son Jediah climbed into a limo at Baker Elementary School, they had no idea of the surprise waiting for them at the end of their short trip.  

The mother of six thought her fourth-grade son had won a school contest. Neither mom or son knew that about 20 Baker staff members had secretly hopped on a school bus to beat them to their destination. They didn’t know there would be a sea of people dressed in red waiting to welcome them, waiting to welcome them to their new home.  

They didn’t know that they would have a home for the holidays. 

Before they stepped into the limo, they didn’t have a real place to call home. They had been living in a motel. However, they soon learned their lives were about to change in a big way. 

Star 94’s Jenn Hobby revealed the surprise as the mother and son listened to the radio in their chauffeured ride. By the time that the Baker mom stepped out of the limo parked in front of her new home, she was already in tears.  

Just a few feet away was the door to a home she had never dreamed would be possible this holiday season. The Cobb family lost their home last year after suffering financial struggles when Elicia lost her job.  

Although the mom of six now works two jobs and spends hours in commute time to try to support her family, it hasn’t been enough. That is until the Baker Elementary community and residents around metro Atlanta volunteered to help.  

After learning of their struggles, the Baker school community found ways to help the family in need including seizing on the opportunity to nominate the family for “A Christmas Miracle” sponsored by NorthStar Church and Star 94.1. 

Principal Alison Broughton and volunteers spent weeks coordinating the surprise, which includes more for the family than just a place to call home. They paid the family’s bills, paid off the mom’s car, and checked off their wish list with a stack of presents under the tree. For the next year, the family will not have to worry about lawn care, pest control, or how to pay for their power bills. The community took care of that, too. The mom’s car insurance is also covered for the next six months. 

The pantry was full along with the hearts of the family and the volunteers who had worked so long to give the family the keys to a happy new year.   

Principal Broughton was thrilled to see how the community had rallied to support the school family.  

“It will probably always be the biggest highlight of my career. NorthStar Church and Star94 provided not only a place to call home but restored joy and hope for this sweet Baker family.  Seeing the Acworth and Atlanta communities come together was so heart-warming and really solidified the true meaning of giving during this Christmas season,” the Baker principal said after the tear-filled surprise.

Besides the framed art and letters from the children that hung on the walls, there was another reason the new house already felt like home. 

Part of the surprise was securing the family’s belongings that they thought were lost forever because they couldn’t pay the monthly rental fee for their storage facility.  There was also a framed photo of Elicia and her family—the mother’s Christmas wish according to her son Jediah.  

“We are so excited about the blessing that Jediah has received this Christmas season. He is such a sweet boy. He shows leadership in our building. He shows kindness, and he is thoughtful, and he is so deserving of having such a great Christmas this year,” said Baker Assistant Principal Tiffany Hourigan.  

To top off the family’s new home for the holidays, volunteers also moved in new furnishings including festive decorations in each room.  

“This is a great family and so deserving. She is a hardworking mom,” said Baker social worker Petrina Fowler, who had encouraged the mom to not give up hope during the past year including the night before the big surprise when the mom was really struggling and needed to talk. “As a social worker, I hear a lot of really tough stories, but working with her has been amazing. I’m so excited and happy for her. This is truly a Christmas miracle. This makes it worth being a social worker. It makes my job amazing.”