During the Christmas holiday, as well as at other times of the year, there are some families who are financially unable to give their children clothes, toys and other things they need. In addition, many children who have no parents and/or other living relatives will sometimes miss out on the joy of Christmas. Wesley Gross, age 10, and C. J. Brinkley, age 12, both of Mayo, took it upon themselves to give the joy of Christmas to area families and homeless children in need.

Their mother, Nicole Walker, walked into their room recently and discovered them wrapping presents. She was not aware they were giving gifts to homeless children. When they told her, she was very elated and praised them for doing a good deed. Walker said they wanted to surprise her.

They were motivated to give to others after watching an American Cancer Society commercial on television as well as experiencing the loss of several family members during one month. Gross and Brinkley decided to donate a portion of their clothes along with a variety of stuffed animals, making a total of 33 gifts. As soon as they came home from the Manna House, where they got the stuffed animals, the boys washed, dried, and wrapped them.

Walker told Gloria Johnson, coordinator for the Manna House Angel Tree Project, what the boys planned and made it possible for them to participate. Johnson delivered the gifts to the homeless children on their behalf. Gross and Brinkley were going to go door-to-door and will deliver the gifts that were left over.

Gross stood quietly beside the Christmas tree when his mom asked him what he would tell God if he were standing beside him. "That I did good," he said, looking at her with a big smile on his face.

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