I was invited back to Greenville to spend the day at the Shriners Children’s Hospital and capture a special day for the Owen Family. The last time I was here The Ronnie Thames Foundation was donating money on their yearly visit to the hospital with Santa. Before Santa started to make his rounds to hand out gifts to all the children, we gathered for a group picture picture and the Owen Family was invited to join in. On the ride home little Ellery started asking her Mom about the group and what they were doing. This prompted a conversation about donating money and how Shriners does not collect any money from the patients. Ellery decided she needed to write another letter to Santa asking for a sewing machine and money to donate to the Shriners. On Christmas day Ellery watched her two sisters open their gifts while she had $40 inside her stocking and a choice to buy her new sewing machine or donate the money to Shriners. Ellery donated the money. The word slowly started to spread about the generous young girl who donated her only Christmas present to Shriners and it sparked a chain. Donations started to arrive in Ellery’s name and Shriners wanted to reward this amazing young girl.
Ellery, her two little sisters, and her Mom were ready to present the check to Shriners. With the donations that people sent in on behalf of Ellery the check now totaled $600. Ellery said she wanted to donate the money so that other children could run and play like her sister. When her 3 year old sister first started therapy at Shriners she couldn’t bear weight on her legs and now she is running all over the place. As the cheering began for Ellery’s donation a jolly Santa came bustling down the stairs jingling his bells. He walked right up to Ellery who could hardly contain herself, and put down his big bag. Santa told her how he was on vacation kayaking down the river in Florida with Mrs. Claus when he got the call. He told her what she did was remarkable and exactly what the true meaning of Christmas was all about. He made a special trip just to hand deliver a few gifts to her. She ripped open the paper to reveal her brand new sewing machine. The Ronnie Thames Foundation gifted her with a $200 gift card to the fabric store and a customized case for her new sewing machine. When asked what her first project would be she replied she wanted make pillows for the kids at Shriners. The members of the board were challenged to whip out their wallets to match her original contribution and Ellery walked around with a fez to collect their donations. By the time the last dollar was collected Ellery has raised $1,600 since December 30th!
Several people have asked how they can help this sweet family and they would love it if you could donate to Shriners in Ellery’s name.
One thought on “The Growing Gift”
Leave a reply? I could go on and on praising all of you Owens clan. I have had you all on my heart ever since you sent me the sweet Christmas card. I really wanted to know how to keep in touch with you guys when you left, and just figured Ellen would know. I did not realize just what you all were dealing with in regard to your youngest daughter. You are a beautiful blessing and an inspiration, and Miss Ellery, I love you ad am so PROUD of you. “a little child shall lead them”. As my gift to The Shriner’s on Miss Shelby Belles behalf, I am sending you a donation with the prayer it will further help her and her friends at Shriner’s Hospital. Diane McBride Smith