A feel-good story coming out of Chicago that encompasses the true meaning of Christmas. A hospital employee has been using her own money to buy Christmas gifts to ensure sick kids get a pick-me-up this holiday season.
During the past eight years, Jessie Tendayi, a cafeteria worker at Trinity Hospital has been working extra hours and putting the money aside to save for Christmas toys for children who are unwell and at the hospital.
Jessie stated that it brings her joy knowing that she has made a positive difference, and it also bring joy to the kids she is buying for.
This incredible initiative started in 2009, when Jessie gave 100 toys to sick children. Over the years her gift-giving project has increased tenfold. This year, Jessie has spent $5,000 on purchasing 1,000 toys for kids suffering a variety of illnesses at the Advocate Children’s Hospital, located in the Chicago, Illinois’ suburb of Oak Lawn.
CNN reported that she’s making an incredible difference. As one child stated, they find it ‘amazing’ that a person is offering their effort and time to ensure kids in the hospital have a good Christmas. One mom is quite grateful for all Tendayi has done, stating that her son cannot leave his room, so having more toys to keep him occupied and happy with is not only helpful, but amazing and humbling as well.
While Tendayi’s efforts have been tremendous, and have increased over time, it seems she is certainly not done yet; with plans to do more. She has a dream she is currently working towards, and that is being a giver of gifts all year around. Tendayi notes that her goal is to help sick children by giving them toys (and joy), each day of the year.
Here’s hoping she can reach that point some day, and offer a little bit of Christmas to those who need it, 365 days of the year.