Christmas is over, but the generous act of one 10-year-old girl is sure to keep the Christmas spirit alive for months -- maybe even years -- in her hometown. (Not to mention her father's spirit.)
Tragically, Gracie McNulty lost her dad Craig earlier this year when the 38-year-old roofer had an accident on the job and suffered fatal head injuries. And by all accounts, Gracie's dad was a great guy -- he even volunteered regularly for charity work like feeding homeless people breakfast on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). This year, Craig McNulty planned to take his good deed one step further by opening the family's cafe to those in need on Christmas Day.
Then came that terrible accident. Poor heartbroken Gracie couldn't imagine celebrating Christmas without her dad.
It would be too incredibly sad, Gracie felt, to go ahead with Christmas like it was any other year. So she told her mother, Sharon, what she wanted to do instead:
"I don’t want to have Christmas at home this year, I want to do what daddy wanted and open the cafe on Christmas Day."
And that's exactly what Gracie, Sharon, and Gracie's three siblings (Kirstie, 19, Thomas, 21, and James, 26) did. With the help of a few local charity organizations, Gracie and her family served 50 turkey dinners to homeless people at the Grilled and Filtered cafe in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire yesterday. Fifty homeless people who, without Gracie's efforts, might not have eaten anything at all this Christmas.
And the most amazing part is how much peace and healing Gracie found in helping others. She said:
"It’s been the best Christmas ever. I was just at school feeling sad about my dad so I decided I wanted to do something to make him proud and this felt like the perfect thing. People have been coming in calling me 'super Grace.' I haven’t asked my mum yet but I want to do this every year."
If I were Gracie's "mum," I know I would say yes. Wouldn't you?
Does your family volunteer for charity work? What have your kids learned from the experience?
Image via emmmiep/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside