11-year-old buys gifts for nursing home residents

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by Beth2004, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Dec 17, 2005

    This is a story that was in my local newspaper today. It literally brought tears to my eyes so I really wanted to share.

    11-year-old buys gifts for nursing home residents
    By JOAO FERREIRA, Standard-Times staff writer


    PETER PEREIRA/The Standard-Times
    Kellyman A. Dias, 11, hands a gift yesterday to Theodore Deluga at Havenwood Rest Home in New Bedford.
    NEW BEDFORD -- Debra McCra seemed initially startled as Kellyman A. Dias
    placed the red gift box on her lap.
    "I don't have to open it right now, right?" Ms. McCra, a resident at Havenwood Rest Home, asked Kellyman, 11, during the Walnut Street facility's Christmas party Wednesday.
    Well, she did anyway.
    Inside was just what Ms. McCra had asked Santa to give her: a sweatshirt. A gray hooded FIFA woman's soccer world cup sweatshirt.
    "I don't want to take the whole thing out," said Ms. McCra, who was sitting near a brightly decorated Christmas tree. "It might get dirty."
    Only after a few moments did Ms. McCra realize the gift came directly from Kellyman, a girl she had only just met, but knew plenty about.
    "Thank you, Kelly," Ms. McCra said, then engaging in a conversation with Kellyman as if she had known her for years, and later hugging and kissing her.
    Kellyman squinted her bright, dark eyes and smiled to her mother Raquel Dias
    , glowing with happiness.
    For this girl, it's better to give than to receive.
    The sixth-grader at Carney Academy bought Christmas gifts for every one of the 41 residents at Havenwood, where Mrs. Dias works as a home assistant.
    She used her all pennies to buy the gifts and collected soda cans to buy the gifts. She also takes trash out for a neighbor and helps file papers for $20 a week.
    "There are a lot of people that don't have a lot of family," Kellyman said. "Christmas is about giving."
    For the past two weeks Kellyman and her mother drove around the area's shopping centers, wish list in hand, looking for gifts.
    They also neatly wrapped each present.
    "I didn't help that much ... been so busy lately," said Emanuel Dias
    , Kellyman's father.
    "A lot of people don't have families," his wife, Raquel, said. "She feels bad for them."
    Wearing a funky coil spring Santa hat, Kellyman gave away clothes, perfumes and even cigarettes to a resident who also wanted $1 million, but didn't get that.
    Kellyman said she doesn't expect anything in return.
    "Oh my god, this kid is going to make me cry," said Cathie Bellemare
    , a nurse and community support coordinator when she heard Kellyman say those words.
    "To hear an 11-year-old say 'I don't want anything back,' to hear an 11-year-old saved cans and did this, that's the true spirit of Christmas," Ms. Bellemare said.
     
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  3. History_Buff

    History_Buff Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2005

    Thats so sweet.
     
  4. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2005

    Great story thanks for sharing:)
     

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