Hundreds of people show up to volunteer - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hundreds of people show up to volunteer

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Hundreds of volunteers join the search for a missing 8-year-old with autism - all of them hoping the extra man power helps find Robbie Wood.

It was amazing and bone chilling to see people pour into the Kings Dominion parking lot. That line expanded so quickly towards the back of the parking lot, people said they would stay there until it was their time to volunteer, or until Robbie was found.

Lines at the amusement park aren't rare, but to see this one stretch all the way to the rear of the parking lot is a special reminder that people of all ages and backgrounds want to find little Robbie Wood Junior. 

"It's heart breaking. We have to find him today. We are going to find this baby today," said volunteer Mary Hawthorne. 

This line strings together a lot of people who all have a common thread. 

"Last night, I felt this strong feeling I needed to be here today," said Kristine Adams.

"I have two autistic nephews so it hits close to home," Lawrence Brooks added. 

"Across the street we have a 8-year-old blond boy who has autism," said John Friedman. "I wanted to do anything I can do find him." 

Others just want to add more boots on the ground....including DJ Perry.  After registration and a half hour briefing, he was on the first bus out of here.  

"I'm looking forward to helping out. I have a child and would want the most help I could so it would be nice if we could find Robbie alive and well," DJ Perry said. 

Even though the call was for 9:00 a.m., people were out here at 8:00 to come help out. The line stretched to the end of the parking lot quickly. 

One of those people who got here early was autism intervention teacher Kristen Vanderploueg. 

"It does. I have worked with kids in the past and it really hits home how scared he has to be," she said. 

She also brought some toys he may be attracted to like noise makers. People are doing all they can to help, but some wished they could have come out here earlier than today. 

The Sheriff's Office wants to remind people if they weren't at Kings Dominion at 9:00 to sign up; there is no need to come out now. Nine was their call time. The line is so long, and they have so many people willing to volunteer they just can't take anymore right now. We'll continue to keep you updated on search as dozens of community volunteers continue to fill these woods.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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