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Her Sister’s Keeper

Christmas was not looking very merry for 10-year-old Mary* this year.

Her mother is hospitalized with COVID-19, and providing toys and Christmas festivity is beyond the financial capability of her older sister, Lucy*, who moved back home to take care of the house and her younger sibling.

Lucy, 22, wanted to make this Christmas, of all Christmases, extra-special for Mary, but she was already overwhelmed with expenses and household duties, in addition to the emotional burden of comforting her little sister and worrying about their mother’s recovery.

And then she heard about The Manger program at GraceWorks, an annual Christmas gift-giving event for families who cannot afford gifts for their children.

She made the phone call.

Lucy talked to Danielle Kennedy, this year’s Manger Event Coordinator, who was moved by the sister’s plight and her devotion to little Mary.

“It was really touching,” Danielle said. “She had taken over the care of her sister and did what she could for her mom and the house, and still had this love for her sister to make sure she gets toys this year.”

This year there will be new toys for Mary, thanks to hundreds of donors and contributions to The Manger. Lucy will be able to choose the toys she knows her sister will love. The Manger is laid out in a store-like atmosphere with displays of gifts for ages 0 to 18.

The story of Lucy and Mary is one of many heartwarming Christmas tales that will happen at The Manger this holiday. Each child receives four gifts, one book, one stuffed animal and one stocking stuffer. Each family receives a board game and wrapping supplies for all their gifts

*GraceWorks does not reveal Neighbors’ actual names.

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