As long ago at this past summer, 11-year-old Eliana Marrero decided she really didn’t need anything for Christmas this year; instead she wanted to collect money for people who were less fortunate. And after seeing homeless people on the streets of New York, she knew exactly who she wanted to help.
Fast-forward to earlier this month. Eliana and her mom, Juana, decided to enlist the help of their family at their annual Christmas party. After securing about a half dozen “gifts” (items like Kohl’s Cash, which was donated by a relative), Eliana collected donations from her relatives for her cause, and then gave the items as thank-you prizes to some of those who donated.
When all was said and done, she raised $1,030!
The family chose Jericho Partnership to receive the contribution because “it was a local organization already doing outreach to the homeless,” said Juana. “We heard about Jericho from my dentist, Dr. Gedeon, and so we checked it out online and decided our money would be going to a worthy cause; they were like missionaries.” (A team from Dr. Gedeon’s office helped serve Thanksgiving Lunch to the homeless at Jericho’s Good Samaritan Mission in November.)
The Marrero’s donation was matched by AWA Medical Supply Company in Danbury, where Juana is employed. And BOTH of those contributions were matched by a Friend of the Good Samaritan, who had pledged to match any new gift given in 2016. So the impact of Eliana’s selfless act of love is worth more than $4,000 of ministry through Jericho!
“Whenever I go to New York, I see a lot of people on the streets asking for money… people who are hungry and cold and I just wanted to help them,” said Eliana, who is a student at Broadview Middle School.
To recognize those in her family that contributed, Eliana created a poster showing a huge tree, with the names of those who donated on Santas or reindeer. On one panel, she wrote “Let’s make a difference this year.”