Every now and then, a little kid will say something so far beyond their years that it stops an adult dead in their tracks. It’s a realization that despite the tantrums, countless requests for snacks, and endless hours of Disney movies, they really are listening and learning from the grown-ups around them.
Eileen ORourk Yesis experienced this realization when her daughter, Gabby, was only 3 years old. Then, a year later, Gabby blew her mom away once again when she wanted to earn money to buy lunch for some of her favorite first responders.
In June of 2018, 3-year-old Gabby had an Elmo doll for sale at a local yard sale. After some thought, though, she told her mom that she no longer wanted to sell the doll… she wanted to give him to a police officer so that he didn’t have to work alone and so he’d always have a friend with him!
After a few days, the police officer who had been taking care of Elmo and the town’s mayor came to Gabby’s house to return Elmo. They dressed him in a police officer uniform and even had a certificate from the police academy made for him.
From then on, Gabby considered the town’s mayor, police officers, and firefighters her friends. She even went so far as to invite them to celebrate her fourth birthday with her. They, of course, accepted and treated her to a fire truck tour and the mayor even let her sit at his desk.
Just before the 2019 yard sale, Eileen once again asked Gabby what she wanted to sell. Eileen reminded her daughter that any money she made off of her toy sales would go right into her piggy bank so she could buy something special in the future.
Gabby hardly missed a beat before asking her mom if, instead of selling her toys, she could set up a lemonade stand. When asked why, Gabby explained according to her mom, “The police, firefighters, and the mayor work very hard and she wanted the money raised to be used to buy them lunch.” Mom, of course, agreed to help her set up a lemonade stand.
According to Eileen, on the day of the yard sale, Gabby “waved down every car that drove by, talked to neighbors, called family and friends, and even paid for her own juice and cookie with money from her piggy bank. She was out all day trying her best.” By the end of the day she had earned just about $95!
Eileen took Gabby to a board meeting later that month so that she could present the mayor with her earnings and tell him that lunch was on her. At the meeting, the sweet girl got a bit of stage fright, so her mom had to present the money on her behalf — which she tried her best to do despite the giant lump in her throat.
The mayor and the other board members thanked Gabby for her hard work and gave her a big round of applause. Then, as Gabby and Eileen left the meeting, the sweet girl looked up at her mom and said, “Mom, it’s nice to do things to help people right? It makes me feel happy.”
Once again, that lump came back to Eileen’s throat as she took in what her daughter had just said. Gabby is proof that kids are always watching, listening, and learning, and that the best thing grown-ups can do is to spread love and kindness through their actions and words.
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