At just 8 years old, Bailey Windmann has already figured out the most important part of Christmas – it’s better to give than to receive.
Earlier this month she shocked her parents Brett and Ellen Windmann when she handed them a note and a stack of money that she had been saving up to buy a new doll with.
“Dear mom and dad, I would like to go and buy toys for kids that do not have toys or a home,” the letter stated.
Ellen was floored.
“Bailey has the biggest heart I’ve ever known,” she said. “She has been saving to buy the new American Girl Doll Courtney, but she brings me and Brett an envelope with this letter and almost $200 in cash that she’s been working hard for.”
Bailey, a third grader at Ethel Schoeffner Elementary, said she’s been saving the money she’s received for holidays and her birthday to add to her American Girl doll collection.
“But it’s Christmas time and I always get a ton of gifts for Christmas and I know there’s boys and girls that don’t get a lot of stuff for Christmas, so I thought it would be nice to take that money and help them,” Bailey said, adding she was inspired to give everything she had because she sees her parents donate their time and money to lots of different causes.
Ellen said she talked to Bailey about other ways she could help people without giving them all of her money – just in case she would change her mind – but that Bailey was determined.
“She was very adamant that she wanted to spend every penny she had saved on a family and child to have a special Christmas this year,” Ellen said. “It was such a mature decision on her part to be so willing to give up something that she worked so hard for – to buy this doll on her own. We’re so proud of her for wanting to make someone else’s Christmas so special.”
The Windmanns reached out to a non-profit agency to identify a family in need.
“They are a family we have been told never ask or expect anything from anyone and work really hard to make ends meet for their family,” Ellen said. “Recently they have been affected by a fire in their apartment complex, making life even more challenging for them.”
The family consists of a father, pregnant mother and autistic 8-year-old girl.
Friends and family donated money and items to help Bailey’s efforts after Ellen posted on Facebook about her daughter’s Christmas wish, and the Windmanns recently went on a shopping trip to pick out items for the needy family.
“Thanks to everyone who donated or purchased items to help with Bailey’s Christmas wish this year,” Ellen said. “This was so much fun and heartwarming at the same time. It will forever be a memory we will treasure.”
And as for the American Girl doll that Bailey forfeited to make someone else’s Christmas special, Ellen said a lot of people have offered to buy it for her … but that isn’t necessary.
“We’re sure Santa is going to bring it,” Ellen said. “Bailey’s spirit has made this Christmas the most special yet for us as parents, and we are very proud.”
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