This past holiday season, Random Acts IT Manager Lauren Angelini surprised a family with Christmas presents.
Connie is the grandmother of 16 grandchildren and the sole provider for six of them. Of the six teenagers she raises, most of their parents are dealing with health issues and one is currently incarcerated.
One of Connie’s grandsons is autistic and currently losing feeling in his arms and legs. She accompanies him on hospital visits during which medical staff look for the cause of his symptoms. Connie has not only taken responsibility for her grandchildren’s health, but she also works to keep them on straight paths.
Throughout everything, Connie stays strong for her family despite experiencing health issues of her own.
Lauren learned Connie’s story when Connie’s daughter Vanessa posted on social media requesting help with Christmas gifts. Lauren connected with Vanessa to find out what gifts would be best for her family.
Using Vanessa’s list, Lauren presented Connie and the six grandchildren with gift cards. She also brought them material gifts, including beauty supplies for the girls and gaming headphones for the boys.
Lauren felt especially happy that she could hand deliver the gifts to Vanessa and two of Connie’s granddaughters. Connie herself was with her grandson in the hospital, so Lauren did not meet her in person. But Vanessa shared that she had already told Connie about Lauren’s generosity on their way to church that morning and that Connie became overwhelmed with tears of joy.
“It was really sweet,” Lauren said. “It’s a really cool experience to be able to facilitate an act of kindness and be able to see directly who it’s impacting.”
While Vanessa recounted more about her family and nephew in the hospital, she shared how hard things had been and how Lauren’s gifts were such a blessing for their family. Lauren couldn’t help but feel humbled.
“It does make you a bit sad but also more aware of things you have in your life that others don’t,” Lauren said. “I’m happy to have been able to give them some joy around the holidays.”