In this season of giving we want you to meet Chloe, a brave and remarkable little girl from Winnetka, whose incredible story of charity in the midst of adversity captures the spirit of the holidays like no other we have read.
Here it is, as told by her father Jim Sawma:
Treatment day is long! It would be for an adult and has got to feel even longer for a child. It is filled with strangers, questions, needles and fluids. And while the staff tries their best, at the end of the day, it is a hospital. Not too many ways that it can be made a positive experience!
Yet, despite the anxiety around the day, the knowledge of how long we will be there and knowing the coming nausea from the fluids and treatment, Chloe will not allow us to forget the homeless man that is always at the Fullerton exit.
Before we get in the car, she will check to make sure that his lunch is packed (a sandwich, fruit, drink and, of course, a bag of chips). On the way, she always makes sure that she includes a special note on the bag along with a heart and a Jesus loves you message. The enjoyment that she gets from putting the window down and saying have a good day while handing him the bag is so incredibly heart-warming. And, his typical response of “bless you” or “thank you” puts a beautiful smile on her face.
Why she thought of this, how she can remember and why it is so important are questions that some might ask. Then again, if you really know Chloe, you probably already know the answer!
I can only wish that someday I have a quarter of the character of my 9-year-old daughter!
UPDATE: Chloe’s story continues…Here is another testament to the goodness that surrounds us–from Chloe’s mom, Victoria:
“When Chloe came home from school there was a sizable box waiting for her. The return address was from someone I did not know. Upon opening the box we saw about 20 gifts, all wrapped. And a note inside. An 8 year old girl named Leigh had a birthday recently. She said in her letter that she had been to parties where the birthday child asks for donations to various charities, dog shelters, etc. Well, Leigh was asking her friends to bring something for Chloe instead of her – so that when Chloe was having a bad day or a stomach ache she would have a gift. We were all floored. I couldn’t repeat the story to anyone without pausing because I was near tears. Chloe kept saying how amazing it was that this little girl didn’t want anything and would give her gifts to her. So, Leigh, I think you may read this and let me tell you (and your friends who so generously gave a gift to Chloe) that your kindness REALLY made Chloe’s day. And mine as well-“