Wilmington family receives unexpected Christmas gift

"He's a right on time, God. He comes through right on time."

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Mr. Rooter Technicians Cody Clark and Josue Menedez surprise Deborah Robertson with a bill for her plumbing repairs.

WILMINGTON — A week before Christmas, a water leak in the Robertsons’ family home threatened to put a serious damper on the holiday festivities.

The leak threatened to spread, damaging the house, but the Robertsons could not afford the repair cost quoted by the Mr. Rooter plumbing company. Deborah Robertson told Port City Daily that the bill would run at least $300 (Cody Clark, a technician for Mr. Rooter, said the repairs could go as high as $500).

The Robertsons were already struggling financially with medical bills. Deborah Robertson said her son, James Jr., deals with autism and ADHD and that the family has “really struggled to make the insurance payments,” adding that by the week before Christmas, “our bank account was at a zero.”

However, on the day of the repairs, Robertson discovered that the Mr. Rooter plumbing company were charging a different price from the quote.

They charged her nothing.

The Robertson family was the recipients of Mr. Rooter’s annual “Let It Flow” gift, which gives one family in need free plumbing service during the holidays. This is the third year of the campaign and it left Deborah Robertson momentarily speechless before she managed, “I just want to give the Glory to God, and to thank Mr. Rooter for this blessing.”

Deborah Robertson added that the gift came just in time. “He’s a right on time, God. He comes through right on time.”

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The Roberstons’ family bible, open to the Book of Matthew, where, Deborah told Port City Daily, James had been reading at breakfast.

The Robertsons, who belong to the non-denominational Port City Community Church, are devout Christians who believe in giving back to the community, near and far. “We do Operational Christmas Child,” Deborah Robertson told Port City Daily, “sending shoe-boxes full of gifts to kids in need around the world.”

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Perhaps the clearest evidence of the Robertsons’ charitable spirit was Capone, the scrappy four-year old dog playing in the back yard. 

“My husband James found him in Afghanistan, he just couldn’t leave him there. There were groups going around killing street dogs there, outside Kabul. James had to rescue him.”

James Robertson was at work when Mr. Rooters and Port City Daily arrived at his house. But if Paul McCartney is right, and you can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals, then Robertson seems a very worthy recipient of this holiday gift.

Below: Video of Deborah Robertson reacting to her gift, talking about the family’s tribulations this Christmas and her gratitude to Mr. Rooter.