Most touching letter: We have no socksPublished 12:01am Saturday, December 15, 2012
When Joe Richburg read aloud Sylar Webster’s letter Friday morning, there wasn’t a dry eye in the building.
The 10-year-old Samson girl’s Christmas request was simple – a basketball for her brothers, clothes and socks.
“We have no socks,” she wrote in her letter.
Webster was one of 92 students across the WAMI listening area who sent letters to JR’s Lawnmower shop for the third annual Christmas Kids 2012 event.
Webster wrote in her letter that her parents – Brandy Tidwell and Schon Jackson – were not working and that the family lives in an old house.
“We cannot have Christmas this year,” she said. “We need the money.”
The family was awarded $500 for Christmas.
“It feels good,” Webster said. “Now we’re gonna have a big Christmas. My brothers will be proud. I can’t wait to see the look on my brothers’ faces.”
A deeply touched Tidwell said she was happy her children were going to have Christmas, and she is proud of her daughter.
“She thinks of everyone more than herself,” Tidwell said.
Second prize and $300 went to Kaylee McWorther, a 9-year-old student at Fleeta School.
McWorther said her mom is a single mother who struggles to provide for her 6-year-old brother CJ and herself.
McWorther’s mother recently had back surgery and will soon have another, and her father “is not around.”
“I see my mom struggle,” the letter read. “I see her cry and stay up at night. My momma is a good mother.”
Third prize and $200 was awarded to Kelly Halford, an 11-year-old, sixth grader at WS Harlan Elementary School.
Halford said her father has been laid off twice. He recently found a new job, but earns very little. Her mother is disabled.
“We have hardly no money for bills and food,” she wrote.
Richburg said Friday that the day was all about the kids.
“We have chosen three wonderful families,” he said. “We are still getting in money today. So far, we’ve raised $13,000 to be put back into the community through this children’s program.”
Richburg said 92 families will be touched by the program.
WAMI’s Parker Paige said that they couldn’t help these children without the generous donations from local residents.
“I’m proud to be a small part,” she said.
Richburg said that no part was too small in the effort to make children smile.
“We’ve had several large donations and several small donations,” he said. “I know the small donations are coming from the heart and not the pocketbook. The important thing is that we put smiles on these children’s faces and help them enjoy Christmas.”