As any blue collar worker will tell you, money has been tight over the last few years. Since the jobs were shipped overseas and immigrants have flooded America and stolen what should belong to citizens, people across the country are struggling to earn as much money as they would like.
But one food service worker at a children’s hospital in the Chicago, Illinois area as quietly saved dollar after dollar to create an incredible surprise for the sick children at the hospital
Every year, 54-year-old Jessie Tendayi saves her extra money from her job as a cafeteria worker at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois to do something special for the children. Every Christmas time, she gets to watch the sick children smile when she surprises them with a gift.
But this year, Tendayi blew the rest of the hospital staff away with her generosity and creativity…
After working hard all year, taking extra shifts, and making overtime, Jessie Tendayi saved up and spent almost $5,000 of her own money to buy almost 1,300 toys for the sick children.
The hard-working cafeteria employee even shopped for the thousand gifts herself at Family Dollar and Walgreens, among other locations.
“I have to do what I have to do to make the children happy,” Tendayi told the Chicago Tribune.
The woman explained that her inspiration to help the children came from God.
This year she surprised the children on December 12 when she delivered the toys to both Advocate Children’s Hospital and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in nearby Park Ridge. Children were given the opportunity to walk through the display of toys and choose something that spoke to them.
While Tendayi is making the news this year, this is not the first time she has been generous. She started buying toys back in 2009 when she bought 100 toys for the sick children spending their Christmas in the hospital.
Every year since she started, she increased the number of gifts she gave. This year she handed out almost 1,300 presents.
“One day I was watching TV and I saw children in need. I asked myself, What should I do for them to calm down what they are going through?’ So I started saving my money to make sure the children had something to play with while they are sick, so they can forget their pain.”
Tendayi is a legal immigrant from Zimbabwe. She moved to Chicago with her husband from Africa 19 years ago. They have never had children of their own, but because she works with children every day, she said, “I do [have kids] now. I do have a lot.”
18-years ago the hospital hired the hard-working immigrant to work in their cafeteria. It was one of the best decisions they ever made. She makes a humble living, but created a savings account where she sets aside money every month to go toy shopping for children at the end of the year.
“It’s not about being rich. It’s not about money,” she said. “The little we have, we can share. For me, it’s a blessing. I’m able to make a difference for the children. Children, they need somebody who cares about them. You want to make a difference to them. I felt in my heart I had to do something for the children.”
God inspiredTendayi to give. And her reward is seeing the children smile.
“I’m happy. I’m happy to do this,” she said. “When God puts this in your heart, you don’t get tired. You love what you’re doing. I love helping other people.”
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