A Christmas wish

by Super User
The wish of a single young girl has united a whole community and brought out spirit of Christmas for many young children who may have gone without this year. Maddie Jenings, 15, is a freshman at Fredericktown High School who decided she’d rather give to others than receive presents this Christmas. “Last year I asked Maddie what she wanted for Christmas and her reply was I want to give another kid my Christmas presents,” Maddie’s mother Tracy Armes said. “We went over several options and decided she wanted to help children in Fredericktown. So we contacted Faith Foundation and they gladly accepted the help.” This was when the Maddie’s Wish Toy Drive was born. “After making posting on Facebook Maddie wanted to pay Christmas forward it just started a chain reaction of individuals who wanted to help make this happen,” Armes said. “She started getting donations of toys and monetary donations so that Maddie could help more than just one kid.” It is unclear how many children were helped last year due to it being put together at the last minute but Armes said Maddie was able to go and buy things off the wish lists that had not been fulfilled yet at the last moment. “Not only was she able to purchase the extra items such as fishing poles and Shopkins toys but, due to the very generous donations, Maddie was able to make sure that every child received a stuffed animal for Christmas,” Armes said. “Then she had enough extra she was able to have enough animals so that the new children coming to the home in 2017 would be able to receive an animal to help them be a little more comfortable at night.” Armes said that Maddie is very shy and doesn’t really speak about what she is doing much. “She (Maddie) feels like she is just doing her part,” Armes said. “Maddie was very excited about the turn out.” “It makes me really happy to know that something I’m doing is going to help make kids that don’t have much or maybe nothing have a better Christmas,” Maddie said. “Their lives are probably already hard enough so they shouldn’t have to worry about if Santa is going to come bring them presents on Christmas morning.” Armes said that Maddie was very happy to see so many people willing to help out because she had no idea how she was going to pick just one child to get gifts. She didn’t want anyone to feel forgotten. “Maddie has been raised by myself for most of her life,” Armes said. “So she understands the hurt and loneliness that comes from not having a complete natural family, a mom and a dad, to spend Christmas with. So thinking about kids that not only don’t have a mom and dad to wake up with on Christmas day but also no presents to make you feel special saddened her. That is why she decided to give her presents away.” “Maddie has always had a great immediate family to support her and make sure she doesn’t go without so she knew that she wanted that same joy she has felt on Christmas morning to be shared with another child,” Armes said. As a volunteer with Miracles on Main Street, serving Christmas dinner a CiCi’s Pizza, assisting the younger girls in Madison County who play softball, always asking to donate clothes to students in need and just wanting to help in any situation she can, you can see Maddie has a big heart. “This has started for her at a very young age,” Armes said. “When she was around 5 we saw someone hitchhiking on a major highway in the rain, she knew it wasn’t safe for us to pick up a stranger so she asked me to turn around and go back to give them an umbrella so that they weren’t exposed to the rain totally.” Maddie’s Wish has expanded this year and there are hopes that it will continue to grower bigger each and every year. “It does seem to be contagious as her 2016 Christmas gifts for a child turned into several gifts for many childrens,” Armes said. “All from her having just one wish.” The efforts have currently raised around $450 and fundraisers continue until Dec. 23. Last-minute shopping allows Maddie to get a list from Joy Booth at Faith Foundation of items that were asked for by the children but had not been received through any of the other resources the home uses. Maddie does not have a certain goal to be raised. She wants to collect as much money and toys as possible. “Can you really have too many toys or items for 120 children?” Armes said “Once all the toy items are filled from the list, Maddie will start buying the luxury necessities such as body wash gift kits, stylish sock hats, gloves, scarves and just those things that many of us take for granted that these children many not have ever had access to.” There was a Canvases N Corks event with Doug Howell on Nov. 12 at Dodson Orchards LLC. All proceeds went to Maddie’s Wish and the event space and food were donated. A total of 28 people came out to enjoy the class and raise money. Other events include a Scentsy party hosted by Misty Underwood with the profits being donated, Elf of the Shelf books being sold by Maddie with help from Sandi Reed, the sale of Thanksgiving pies and Christmas fudge made by Christine Archer and sales of small trinkets at Miracles on Main Street by Maddie and her elves. Faith Foundation has 120 children from age 5 to 18. Any toys or hygiene items such as perfume, cologne, gloves, hats or anything a child or teenager can use can be donated. Money raised and monetary donations will be used by Maddie to go shopping to fill the wish lists of the children not filled by the donated toys. Toy donations can be dropped off at GT Express, Majic Touch Salon and Revival Trade and Coffee Shop. For information on upcoming events, to make a donation or to purchase Elf on the Shelf books call Maddie at 573-944-4508 or find Maddie’s Wish on Facebook.

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