This is truly a great Christmas story, folks. It seems that about 20 years ago, a Dublin resident was having some renovations done on his home. Workers found a letter to Santa Claus inside John Byrne's chimney and managed to salvage it (and yes, it was just a tad burned). For years, Byrne wondered about the letter from Hannah 'Annie' Howard. She was just ten years old when she penned her letter to Santa on Christmas Eve in 1911, asking for a doll, a toffee apple and a gold penny, among other things. This year, to celebrate the letter's 100th anniversary, he decided to take action: Byrne got in touch with The Irish Times and relayed the story.
Apparently, news that Secret Santas were paying off layaways at Kmart stores nationwide first began to surface over the weekend. Anonymous donors with deep pockets were giving struggling families a Christmas miracle, of sorts, by paying off layaways on all sorts of merchandise, including children's toys. Some are calling them layaway angels, and that seems to be a perfect description to me.
Trust me when I tell you this story will touch your heart. Little Kylee Hepworth of Calera, Alabama, was missing her daddy as her class enjoyed Christmas celebrations. Lt. 1st Class Ryan Hepworth, unbeknownst to Kylee, arrived home from Afghanistan after a year's tour. You won't believe how he surprised her and her older brother, 12-year-old Carsen Hepworth.
You know, I think I fall into a trap all too often thinking "There's no good news today. How can I tell others about great news when there just isn't any?" I need to adjust my thinking, pronto. There IS great news out there and I found something that fits the bill perfectly. Ever heard of Don Downer of Columbia, Maryland? If not, you need to know who he is!