Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Never too Young to Give, Never too Old to Give Back

There were two stories in today's paper that I thought deserved mentioning. They were separate stories of Western New York residents making a difference in the community through their actions. Jessie Washington, a childless 61 year old Buffalo resident, instantly became a mother to 5 sisters who had been in foster care. "Now I know how a biological mother feels, because I can feel that same love. When they hurt, I hurt. I want them to have the best of everything — the best education, the best religious [upbringing], so they can be confident and know that somebody loves them, said Washington." She had hoped that the court date would be on December 16th, her father's 85th birthday. "It really is a sign to me that these were my children when they were born," she said. "It means [their birth mother] had these children for me."

It's not every day you read about a 61 year old woman saving the lives of five children. Gateway-Longview estimates there are over 1,000 children in Erie County in the system currently looking for a home.

Who says there is no such thing as Santa Claus? She's 8 years old. Her name is Madison Scott and she lives in Lockport. The 3rd grader started a fund drive to buy gifts for The News Neediest Fund. With the extra money she collects, she buys more gifts and makes a donation to the food bank of WNY. It started when she approached her parents and wanted to donate half of her presents to deserving kids who had less than she, according to the article by Deidre Williams.
Her true gift appears to be her ability to get others on board. She started getting her friends at her elementary school to donate presents through her. She started a newsletter and a blog to promote her gift raising efforts. Last year, she donated 400 toys and gave over $300 to the food bank. This year, Madison already has collected over 700 toys.

Two great stories about two Western New York heroes not sitting back waiting for someone else to make a difference. One younger. One older. Both doers.Here are the links to both articles.

Woman, 61, becomes first-time mom of 5 : Home: The Buffalo News
She’s only 8—and a magnet for holiday generosity : City & Region : The Buffalo News

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