We Have Living Angels Amongst Us

Sometimes “thank you” is not enough

Every story has a backstory.

One holiday season many years back, I decided to place an advertisement in D Magazine. In lieu of promoting an item from our shop, we promoted our toy and book drive for the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. A reader named Diane, who still received the magazine in Maryland where she and her husband had retired, saw the article. She thought it strange that a small business would promote their donation drive instead of their products. Diane often visits her children and grandchildren who live in the Dallas area, so that December she also visited Ken’s while she was in town.

That first year, Diane dropped off bags and bags of toys and books for our holiday drive. She had her young grandchildren bring them in and set them on the pool table, and she explained what they were doing. She was setting an example, and it was a great one. The years have passed, the grandchildren have continued to grow, and still they show up every year to give us many donations for these children.

One year she asked if she could deliver handmade blankets for the drive. We said yes, and boy did she deliver! She brought more than thirty blankets to us, each more unique and fun than the last. They were themed, colorful, soft, and perfect! Diane personally crafted each one with love.

We did not see or hear from her last year due to the pandemic. We were understanding but not too concerned. In hindsight, I should have reached out to her. She called this year to say that she was coming, and for me to be prepared.

Right as Covid was beginning Diane received the news that she had leukemia. Instead of letting her diagnosis and Covid get in her way, she decided to double down and fight. The first thing she needed was fabric to make blankets, and a lot of it. Diane received a donation from a fellow Texan to purchase enough blanket material to see her through the entire year and the long winter.

“These blankets truly saved me during the hours of hospital visits and stays, plus being cooped up in the house in Maryland,” says Diane.

Diane had also been caring for her 100-year old mother, who passed away peacefully in her sleep last week. Life had been good to her mom. The funeral was yesterday, but Diane did not attend. She says that her mom would have said, “go be with those grandchildren that you love for Christmas, and drop off the blankets to the kids. We had our great times together.”

Diane is again doing what she loves to do: giving of herself to children she has never met, without expecting anything in return. She is always setting this example of selfless service for her family, and especially for her grandchildren.

This year, we recently found out that Texas Scottish Rite is not accepting gifts or books due to Covid. I reached out to some clients and we now have a new beneficiary for the 2021 holiday season. The toys and books will be going to the kids at Children’s Health Hospital, and the handmade blankets will be distributed to the children in the cancer wing, to give them warmth and love. May Diane’s unrelenting spirit of love, family, and healing support these children in their time of need.

Diane embodies the truest meaning of holiday giving. Thank you Diane, and I cannot say that enough. You are a living angel.

May everyone feel the blessings of this year and of the season. We wish you everything that you wish for yourselves and your families. 

With love, health, and gratitude,

Kory Helfman

Ken’s Man’s Shop