This Christmas is a little brighter for families at Father Joe's Villages thanks to a thoughtful 12-year-old girl.
Lilly Thompson is a fortunate kid who gets presents for Christmas, so she went on a heartfelt mission to make sure other kids would too. In just 12 days, she raised $1,765 through Facebook.
"Lots of people donated," she said with a big smile and a little laugh. "This is about giving generally to all the people who don't have as much as they should have."
The gifts went into a store. Then, moms at the shelter were able to buy them using "baby bucks" they earned by doing chores.
"It's really cool, and I'm actually realizing my mom was here," Lilly said.
She did not pick just any shelter. It is the one that took her mom in when she was homeless.
"You look just like your mom," one of the staff members said as she rushed up to hug Lilly.
Four women were there who welcomed Lynette to the shelter when she was pregnant with Lilly 12 years ago.
They gave the two of them a home for two and a half years. They helped Lynette turn things around and get an apartment.
"Life was good," Lilly said. "Then she got diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and passed away after a little while," she added.
Before she did, Lynette made sure Lilly had a loving home where she has learned about her birth mom.
"She was always giving things to other people," Lilly explained. "Like one time she gave a stroller to a lady who was trying to get all of her kids into the store, so so she just gave her her stroller. She ran to the car and gave it to her."
Like Lynette, Lilly does not want a mom to go without a stroller, or a baby to go without a blanket.
"With what your story is you're making another kid who maybe doesn't think their story has a chance of ending well, that it can and we're really, really grateful," one of the staff members said.
"You're such a good girl," one of the women said as she hugged Lilly. "Keep up all the good work."
They gave Lilly something money cannot buy, and this was Lilly's chance to give them that gift of love in return.