Saturday, December 1, 2012

Emma's Gift -- a True Story of Thanksgiving

Donna McKenzie, shared this story about the true meaning of the Thanksgiving season. Donna and her husband, Bob, work nightly with the guests at the Livermore Homeless Refuge in Livermore, California.  Donna and Bob have also given up their garage to store supplies for the homeless.  The events below took place on November 21, 2012.

The story I'm going to tell you is truly about a "gift of love."

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, I was in the garage sorting through clothes to bring to our homeless friends and a car stopped in the middle of our driveway.  I looked up and a man, woman and child got out of the car and walked up the driveway towards me.  The man said, "are you Donna?" and I said "yes."

He and his wife looked down at the little girl named Emma and she looked up at me and at the same time handed me her little pink piggy bank.  As I reached for it, she said, "this is for the homeless."  I was speechless and stunned! 

Emma and I sat down on the driveway and opened her piggy bank and counted $6.12. 

I told her that maybe she should keep half of it in her bank and I would take the other half for the homeless.  She answered me with, "I want them to have it all because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'm going to have turkey.  I have a warm bed with covers and they don't have any."

Her dad said this gift was completely Emma's idea.  They had been downtown recently and she saw some of our homeless begging and asked her parents what they were doing and they explained it to her.

When she returned home, she told her parents what she wanted to do with the money she had been saving.

I offered to give her $1.00 to start her savings again and she would not accept it.

Once again, I was humbled by a little girl who understood at her young age about giving and sharing and mostly,  about caring.

Emma is 6 1/2   years old.

In all the excitement, I hugged her and her parents, told them they were doing an awesome job raising their daughter and then they were gone. 
I didn't get their names, except for Emma, who I will never forget.

I have the $6.12 in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters....and I'm thinking "ice cream for our homeless."  They love it....and it's a real treat for them....
....thanks to Emma.

If you would like to volunteer at the Livermore Homeless Refuge, or provide other support, please Call Sandra Chesterman at 925-525-1200 or go to

Story edited by Jim Schnitter, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Livermore, CA.

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