Ordinary People Making a Difference: Inez Killam’s Story

Inez Killam’s Story

The Child Advocacy Council in Camden County, Missouri, sponsors a program each year called “Christmas Is Sharing.”  The sign up for help averages over 350 families and over 900 children each year.  One of my favorite stories from Christmases past is this one:

In delivering Christmas presents to the needy family that Child Advocate Maggie adopted, she discovered that the family had a huge tree with many presents already wrapped and under the tree.  Maggie was thinking that maybe the children didn’t need all of the packages that were in the trunk of her car.  She was beginning to feel a little angry, too, that this family had asked for help, but followed the mother into her kitchen with the boxes of food.  The mother turned to Maggie with tears in her eyes, thanked her for her generosity, and asked if she could give Maggie a hug.  When Maggie commented on the size of the tree, the mother proudly whispered to Maggie that the tree had been cut in the hills behind their house and the presents under the tree were boxes of the children’s favorite snacks and cereals.  She said that they had so little to spend on their children that they could only afford the “good snacks” and “real cereal” once a year; they wanted to give the children something that she knew they wanted.  Maggie looked under the tree and realized what she was actually seeing.  She and the woman unloaded the toys and clothing from the car and Maggie took off feeling she had not done enough for this family.  Maggie made a return trip to the home the next day, bringing food cards, gas cards, and winter coats for the entire family.  In retelling this story Maggie always cries and prays that what she surmised initially about this family is forgiven.  What she remembers most is one of the children saying, “Are we going to get REAL presents?”

About jofacilitator

On Sept 1, 2020, I celebrated 50 years of work with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, facilitating meetings, groups, communities, and organizations, making it possible for ordinary people to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. I retired on December 31, 2021, but still volunteer with the organization.
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1 Response to Ordinary People Making a Difference: Inez Killam’s Story

  1. Kathy McGrane says:

    Wow! 😢🤧🎄 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!


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