Saturday, October 3, 2015

"a little child shall lead them"

Joseph's House in Syracuse, NY, is a non-profit home for women who have no place else to live while facing unplanned pregnancy. You can visit the house and meet some residents at It will touch your heart.

New mothers at Joseph's Houses are assisted by many volunteers. One is 13-year-old Erin Byrnes, who comes each Thursday to cuddle babies and do chores.

When she was 12, Erin learned that Joseph's House needed more money, so she spent a year collecting and recycling cans and bottles found in her neighborhood. After she raised $1,000, she asked her parents to use part of the funds to buy $200 worth of tickets (that's 60 tickets out of a total of 26,000 sold) in the annual Joseph's House car raffle. "We never dreamed in a million years that Erin would win," said her Mom, Jeanie Byrnes.

This year's car was a 2015 Chevy Tahoe LTZ worth nearly $70,000. Erin's Dad drives a 2008 Honda Civic, but agreed she could decide what to do with her winnings. After she won the car, she astonished the crowd by donating it back to Joseph's House! The audience could hardly believe it, so the emcee asked Erin to repeat her intention into the microphone. Soon news of her generosity spread across the nation and offers began arriving to help grow her gift.

A local business wants to help Erin give Christmas gifts to Joseph House mothers, and a central New York jeweler wants her to pick gifts for mothers from his stock room. A school class has offered to help, and lots of ordinary folks are donating to make this Christmas at Joseph's House merrier than usual. Erin is a good fundraiser, but her first love is child care. After winning the car raffle, the eighth-grader was eager to return to the babies after a day at middle school.
                                                                                                             Courtesy photos

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