Via A young teen is trading in her own Christmas gifts in order to buy presents for a family in need.
Before the sun began to set on Thanksgiving, lines were already forming outside of a Chesterfield Toys R Us. Among those foregoing the feast at home was 14-year-old Mary Katherine Kendall.
Soft spoken, she made small talk with those in line next to her while wearing her Santa hat, a small sign of what she was planning.
“I’m a Secret Santa for a couple of children in my hometown,” she said softly.
Her hometown is Farmville – the children are strangers to her.
“I know their names, but I don’t personally know them,” explained Mary Katherine as she waited for the doors to open.
The idea came to her after participating in Operation Christmas Child with her church. It was an eye-opening experience for the young teen, and she began looking for ways to make a difference.
“I’m sad people don’t have what they need and can’t provide for their children….I thought, I want to provide for some people,” said Mary Katherine, which is why she’s taking advantage of the Thanksgiving Day deals. “It’s less money so I can get them more stuff.”
She’s getting the money to pay for the gifts as her own Christmas present. Instead of gifts, she asked her family to give her money, so she could use it to purchase presents for those children.
“Christmas money from my parents and grandparents and some of my own money to provide for other children,” she explained.
Unable to drive herself to the store, Mary Katherine’s grandpa accompanied her Secret Santa shopping spree.
“She loves doing this, I’m so proud of her,” he said.
Her mom helped her find the family of five through work; asking co-workers to suggest a family who needed some holiday help.