Volunteer Spotlight: Reese children chose to give rather than receive this past holiday
By Jennifer Browning
Nya Reese stood with the Maldanado family circled around her own as Nya read the thank you letter Natalie Maldanado had written to the Reese’s.
Tiffani Reese’s whole family chose to give up their own Christmas gifts so Natalie and her two children Andrea and Jose, could have a brighter Christmas of their own.
“This year I told the children that they needed to realized how blessed they were and try to help someone less fortunate,” Tiffany said. “I told them that each year they play the role of “Jesus” receiving gifts on Christmas, I told them that this year they should be the “three Wisemen” and give gifts.”
Amadeus, KeKe, and Nya initially wanted work at a soup kitchen but the volunteering option wasn’t feasible for the two younger children. The Reese children decided that it might be a good idea to adopt some children and give them a good Christmas.
“They had never done this before, so they were really excited about finding some children to help,” Tiffani said, “and they wanted to make sure they could meet the kids that they would be helping.”
Researching for ways to accomplish this, Tiffani found alley’s house online.
“It was perfect, because the kids would get to meet who they were sponsoring,”she said, “and I was a teen parent as well, so I understood the need.”
At first the Reese children were concerned about not receiving gifts from their mother for Christmas, but Tiffani reminded them that they have a large family so there would be gifts on Christmas Day.
“They receive so much from so many people that they realized it wasn’t going to be as bad as they initially thought to not have Christmas gifts at our home under a tree,” Tiffani said. “As it got closer, they were very excited, and they absolutely loved shopping for the kids. “
Tiffani’s son, Amadeus, was touched when he saw the Maldanado children opening their gifts.
“He hugged me and was crying and said that he never knew it would feel so good [to give],” Tiffani said.
For Tiffani, she felt joy to know that she had the ability to help another family, especially a teen mother.
“I know the stresses of being a teen mother and any little bit helps. Keke said that she was glad we bought the kids cloths and coats,” she said, “because now Natalie could spend her money on toys and not clothes.”
The Reese’s spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family, brothers, sisters, parents and grandmother. The kids got gifts from there aunts, uncles and grandparents. Tiffani and her partner were so proud of the children that they decided to purchase one large gift for all three to share. On Christmas morning, the Reese children opened up a Wii.
Tiffani felt that she had taught her children the true meaning of Christmas, and said she was completely surprised by the kids loving heart and true desire to give.
“It made me feel like I am raising them right,” she said. “No matter how spoiled they may seem, they still know how to give.”