Make Your Week: 9-year-old asks for donations to food bank instead of birthday gifts

Make Your Week: 9-year-old asks for donations to food bank instead of birthday gifts

(Kathy J.)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Coming back to work after a long holiday break can be difficult, but we have compiled some feel-good stories from the Christmas vacation to help brighten your day.

The “Make Your Week” column features uplifting stories sent in from people outside the newsroom. To send in the stories that have made your day better, email them in 100 words or less to Photos and videos are encouraged.

Giving instead of getting

Kathy J.

“My sweet cousin Bethany, who turned 9 yesterday, had a birthday party this weekend. She told all of her friends, instead of presents, she would like to them to bring food to take to the food bank. She collected 83 cans of various foods, 13 boxes of macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, rice, spaghetti, pudding, chips, etc. She is planning to take the food to the food bank tomorrow.

“Bethany herself has a wonderful story to tell. She was diagnosed as an infant with a congenital heart defect and was on a bypass machine and has heart surgery. Today she is a thriving 9 year old who wears that beautiful heart on her sleeve!”

Thoughtful neighbors


“In August, my very healthy and active husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage 4. With no obvious health issues, it took us all by surprise and was very devastating. Our daughter who lived in Virginia came home to be with us. Our doctors in our town told us that he had a short time to live. We immediately went to Huntsman where with their treatments he may have a longer time to live.

"Our daughter needed to return home, but wanted to do something to rally our friends and neighbors. So before she left back in August, she asked many people to make paper snowflakes and write messages on them. Then when she came back for Christmas she would gather them and put them up.

"This last Monday was our usual chemo day. Having been gone most of the day up at Huntsman, we came back to our home very tired and stressed from having treatments that day. We walked into our home to find a winter wonderland of all shapes and sizes of snowflakes that had been strewn across our large room. What a transformation of happiness and love we felt as we looked around and read all the snowflakes. When people reach out in times of need, their love and concern buoys you up and fills your heart with gratitude.”

Helping out a family in need

Deanna G.

“An absolute angel on earth by the name of Michael White from Spanish Fork gave away a car (a very nice PT Cruiser) last week to a family in need. Also, other beautiful angels on earth by the names of Chelsea Jinkins and another beautiful angel, whose name I regrettably did not get, filled the vehicle with gifts and toys and games for this family.

“(The family in need has) a daughter who is in Primary Children’s Hospital awaiting a heart and kidney transplant. She was prepped for surgery yesterday, but sadly the donor heart was not strong enough. (The family was) struggling, not only with their daughter's illness, but with transportation and the logistics of being there for their daughter as well as their other two young sons. … Christmas miracles do happen and as a family, we couldn't be more appreciative of these kind souls that have come through for (the parents) and the kiddos in an extreme way.”

Communities coming together

Amanda B.

“Last night, an elderly couple was stranded in a motor home with no heat, food, electricity, medications, anything. The community got together and got the couple a generator for heat, a local company helped them plug into electricity, strangers got them food, their prescription medication, the motor home towed to hookups, animal care, houses were offered, and the list can go on and on.

“I have never seen a community do so much in such a short time. Everything, including a lot space and a tow, were donated through the community. This story is perfect for our Christmas season to show what strong communities do.”

Kindness at the hospital

David B.

“Tonight, (Christmas Eve), our family went to visit my niece at Primary Children's Hospital. As we approached the security check-in desk, a young father of a family approached me and asked me if we were visiting a patient. I answered him affirmatively and explained that my niece was being treated as a cancer patient. He smiled and reached into a bag and pulled out a brand new iPad Mini and handed it to me. He said, ‘Will you give this to her and wish her a Merry Christmas? It won't heal her, but we hope it will bring her joy.’

“I got emotional and expressed my gratitude to him and gave him a hug. Upstairs, we greeted my niece and then my daughter handed her the iPad. She was so thankful. I was touched by the family that gave those gifts. How special was that?”


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