Jessie Tendayi has worked in the cafeteria at the Advocate Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois for over 18 years. Over that period of time, she's witnessed more heartbreaking news than any person should have to endure.
Instead of letting the weight of the hospital get to her spirit, Jessie opted to keep her chin up and spread Christmas cheer to the little patients she encounters every day! But it wasn't until recently that the world started to pay attention to what the cafeteria employee had been up to....
Over the course of eight years, Jessie has done something truly incredible for the children in Advocate Children's Hospital.
Every paycheck Jessie receives, she stashes away a bit of money, and when Christmas time rolls around, she goes to The Family Dollar and Walgreens stores to buy gifts for the children in her hospital.
The sum of her year-long savings has gone up incrementally each year - and even though she doesn't have children of her own, Jessie and her husband consider all of the kids she gives to part of their family! But this year Jessie took it the next level. She managed to save up a whopping $4,500 and bought over 1,300 toys for the children forced to spend the holidays in a hospital bed!
Jessie's inspiration for starting the gift-giving tradition is truly incredible. She explained that it all had to do with God and hope!
"Why do I do it? God put it in my heart. 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."
She prays that the new toys can give the children a few moments of peace and bliss. She wants them to be free of the worries of treatments, prognosis and results!