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Help a woman brighten Christmas

POSTED: December 23, 2009 9:53 a.m.
I recently watched the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and thought of my good friend Irene Myers. The part that hit me most was when Clarence, the guardian angel, told George Bailey, “Every time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets his wings.”
In the movie, unfortunately, these wingless guardian angels have “passed on” from Heaven to Earth until they get their wings. It seemed unfair. But, believe it or not, there are angels who walk among us. You can find one in the form of “Momma Irene,” as she likes to be called.
Myers is an average woman with average worries; how her children are doing, if something needs to be replaced or repaired or just what set of problems the next day may bring. What separates Myers from the rest of us is the size of her heart, a heart that just might be lined with gold and filled with the joy and wonderment you find in the face of a child on Christmas morning.
Myers is on a mission, a general fighting the battle to rid the community of bleak Christmas mornings for any child whose parents may face a choice of buying presents or paying the rent, water or electric bill.
This angel of a woman has made it her primary goal at this time of year to insure no child wakes up to the disappointment of finding a tree with only an uneaten cookie or untouched glass of milk for a Santa who never showed up.
Myers has mobilized a small army of helpers, including Clydes convenience store employees in the region, to make sure the wishes of those who wouldn’t normally have a special gift on Christmas morning will have one.
Last Thursday afternoon I went to visit Myers at her Garden Circle home in Hinesville to see what she had received from Clyde’s workers, as well as various other donors in the area. There were boxes of toys filling her kitchen, barely giving her room to move. The boxes were filled with stuffed toys, games and many items any child would be happy to find as they tear through wrapping.
The sad part though is the needs of Myers’ children exceed what she has. Last year, she had set up tables and lined her lawn with rows upon rows of toys to meet the needs of 600 families. This year, she set a goal of reaching 1,000 families, but she’s estimating she has fallen short by 400 toys.
This woman, who lives on a modest income from a disability check, had purchased toys for the children, who she cares for full-time. They donated the gifts back to her cause. But even that was not enough.
It’s moved even this hardened reporter.
Momma Irene was holding out hope that when she set up shop on Dec. 22 at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church that she would meet the needs of her extended family. I fear the clock is ticking against her.
Then again who knows. Good things come to those who give and ask nothing in return except just the joy of knowing that you made a difference in somebody’s life.
She said she planned to take the names of those who she couldn’t help Tuesday. So if you can help her brighten their Christmas, call her at 570-3344.
 

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